The robustness of a simple dynamic model of island biodiversity to geological and sea-level change

Activity: Talk and presentationAcademic presentationAcademic


The influence of the dynamic geological process that islands are subject to has long been of interest to island biogeographers. Variations in area due to island ontogeny and sea-level changes, as well as dynamics arising from the separation of continental islands from the mainland and the occurrence of land-bridges may play a role in shaping current and past island community biodiversity. However, available models of community island biogeography have so far ignored these processes by considering constant island area through time and no study has evaluated if this constitutes a source of bias. We extend current simulation methods to explicitly account for all these processes and develop a pipeline aiming to determine the presence and magnitude of such bias. We find little error when area changes linked to island ontogeny, sea-level changes and the sum of both processes are ignored. However, past connections to the mainland in younger continental islands disrupt the ability of the model to accurately make inferences on island communities. This indicates that a novel inference method is required to properly study islands that were recently connected to the mainland.
Event titleNetherlands Annual Ecology Meeting 2022
Event typeConference
Conference number15
Organiser Netherlands Ecological Research Network (NERN)
LocationLunteren, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • island biogeography
  • macroevolution
  • diversification
  • geodynamics