Subject: Island Biogeography

Scientific Area:



64 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - Understanding the contribution of insular biogeography to understanding biological diversity
2 - Recognize the importance of island studies in Biology
3 - Know and compare the different types of Islands and island habitats and biogeography of insular life
4 - Know how the islands are colonized and explain the adaptations to the island environment
5 - Know the types of speciation and the models that explain the origin of island diversity
6 - Interpret the various models that explain the diversity of island communities
7 - Identify threats to island ecosystems and the importance of their conservation
8 - Interpret published data on Macaronesia from the perspective of island biogeography
9 - To observe, record, describe, compare, and make inferences in a scientific manner
10 - Express fluently, with a diverse and specific vocabulary in the field
11 - Develop capacity for analysis and synthesis
12 - Critical reasoning and organization of ideas
13 - Develop attitudes towards threats from Macaronesian ecosystems


1 - Chapter 1. Introduction
2 - Chapter 2. Islands: definition, types and origin
3 - Chapter 3. Biogeography of island life
4 - Chapter 4. Colonization and adaptation to the island environment
5 - Chapter 5. Speciation on islands
6 - Chapter 6. Models of evolution on islands
7 - Chapter 7. Ecology of island communities
8 - Chapter 8. Extinctions and threats to island ecosystems
9 - Chapter 9. Macaronesian biogeography


CARLQUIST, S. , 1974 , Island Biology. , Columbia University Press.
COX, C. & MOORE, P , 1993 , Biogeography. An Ecological and Evolutionary approach , Blackwell Scientific Publications
GORMAN, M , 1979 , Island Ecology , Chapman and Hall
GRANT, P. (ed.) , 1998 , Evolution on islands , Oxford University Press
MACARTHUR, R. & WILSON, E , 1967 , The Theory of Island Biogeography. Monographs in Population Biology , Princeton University Press. Princeton. New Jersey
NUNN, P. , 1994 , Oceanic Islands. , Blackwell Publishers
VITOUSEK, P.; LOOPE, L. & ADSERSEN, H. (eds.) , 1995 , Islands. Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Function. , Springer­Verlag. Berlin
WHITTAKER & FERNÁNDEZ­PALACIOS , 2007 , Island Biogeography. 2nd ed. OUP , Oxford
Favro, S., Brebbia, C. A. (eds.). , 2010 , Island Sustainability (Vol. 130). , WIT Press.
Losos, J. B., & Ricklefs, R. E. (Eds.). , 2009 , The theory of island biogeography revisited. , Princeton University Press.

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
Teaching methodologies aim to actively involve students. The T classes will use the Expositive and Interrogative Method. Whenever possible, examples from Macaronesia will be mentioned. Students must develop research papers that are deliberately poorly defined. They must define the objectives, formulate hypotheses, and deduce what results and methods to use. However, as they lack this knowledge, they are guided by the teacher through the Interrogative and Hypothetical-Deductive Method. This is the hardest part and they usually need a month. The characteristic of the work requires constant teacher follow-up in TP classes and outside classes. In TP classes, they follow the work of their colleagues, so they get a broad view of the various aspects of life on the islands and a greater interest because they are questions of local interest. Assessment: Examination (50%) and group work (50%). The assignment can be recovered but not the work.