New Discoveries in Biogeography
About thirty years ago, two men, Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson began a journey to test a theory of biogeography. They developed their theory by observing how on an island when one species of ant becomes extinct, a new one replaces it. From this they concluded that large islands have more species than small islands and that remote islands have fewer species than less remote ones.
As part of their investigation, they wanted to test their theory on an existing island. They chose to predict at what number a species of birds would be at equilibrium on the island of Krakatau. They estimated that it would be about thirty different species. Their prediction was very close to the actual amount of twenty-seven. The birds are at equilibrium because the same number of species will be maintained even if conditions changed
MacArthur and Wilson developed a different approach to the distribution of life. Scientists did not directly accept their theory. However, their discoveries led to more studies in biogeography and a better understanding of it.