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Species-Area Relationship

  • By: Matthew Miller
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The species-area relationship is the positive relationship between the number of species and the size of the area in which they live. As the area increases, the number of species that are found within the area of interest also increases. The number of species found in an area is referred to as species richness. The species-area relationship is a general and widely documented pattern of community ecology and biogeography. It has become so well accepted that it is sometimes referred to as a rule or a law. Due to its fundamental importance in describing ecological relationships, the species-area relationship has been prominently incorporated into models of island biogeography and has been used in conservation decisions.

Fundamentally, the species-area relationship is a very simple conceptual relationship between ...

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