Phyllantheae–Epicephala Mutualistic Interactions on Oceanic Islands in the Pacific

  • David H. HembryEmail author
Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


Oceanic islands, and the organisms that live on them, have long served as models for the study of evolution. Formed de novo by volcanism or by the uplift of previously submerged rock, oceanic islands have never been connected to continents. They are colonized by a limited number of founding lineages that arrive via long-distance dispersal. The resulting discrete and isolated nature of these communities and the organisms within them have led oceanic islands to be used as “natural laboratories” since the time of Darwin by researchers interested in speciation (Darwin 1859; Coyne and Orr 2004; Goodman et al. 2012), adaptive radiation (Lack 1947; Carlquist 1974; Chiba 2004; Grant and Grant 2008), and community assembly (MacArthur and Wilson 1967; Gillespie 2004; Casquet et al. 2015). The utility of oceanic island biotas as models for evolutionary insights is indicated by their ongoing adoption in new areas of evolutionary ecology, such as diversification dynamics (Economo and Sarnat 2012; Bennett and O’Grady 2013), host–microbe interactions (Ort et al. 2012, O’Connor et al. 2014), and coevolutionary biology (Hembry et al. 2013a).


Dispersal Epicephala Glochidion Host shift Leafflower Oceanic islands Pacific Phyllanthus 



I thank Gerald McCormack (Cook Islands Natural Heritage), Jean-François Butaud (environmental consultant, Tahiti), and Atsushi Kawakita (Kyoto University) for their comments and corrections on this manuscript, and David Lorence (National Tropical Botanical Garden), Warren Wagner (Smithsonian Institution), and Jean-Yves Meyer (Délégation à la Recherche, Government of French Polynesia) for discussion and providing copies of relevant literature.

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© Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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