Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:

login

Log in through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Journal Article

The Evolution of Body Size on Islands: A Computer Simulation

Richard J. Wassersug, Harold Yang, J. John Sepkoski, Jr. and David M. Raup
The American Naturalist
Vol. 114, No. 2 (Aug., 1979), pp. 287-295
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2460224
Page Count: 9
Were these topics helpful?
See somethings inaccurate? Let us know!

Select the topics that are inaccurate.

Cancel
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($19.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Add to My Lists
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Evolution of Body Size on Islands: A Computer Simulation
Preview not available

Abstract

We have modified a preexisting computer model that generates phylogenetic trees by a stochastic branching process (Raup et al. 1973; Raup and Gould 1974; Gould et al. 1977) in order to examine the consequences of random evolution of size in a biomass (resource) limited universe. Evolution toward a few lineages of large average biomass increases variance on the total biomass of the system; evolution toward many lineages of small average size decreases the variance in the total biomass. This means that under strict conditions of biomass limitation, dwarfism permits tighter tracking of the carrying capacity. Evolution toward small size is not a common phenomenon except for species of large mammals isolated on small islands or in certain late and post-Pleistocene continental deposits. Our model may be comparable to situations where there is strict resource limitation, neither immigration nor emigration, and no selection favoring large size. We suggest that, for strictly statistical reasons, dwarfism is a common though not universal expectation under these conditions.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
287
    287
  • Thumbnail: Page 
288
    288
  • Thumbnail: Page 
289
    289
  • Thumbnail: Page 
290
    290
  • Thumbnail: Page 
291
    291
  • Thumbnail: Page 
292
    292
  • Thumbnail: Page 
293
    293
  • Thumbnail: Page 
294
    294
  • Thumbnail: Page 
295
    295
Part of Sustainability