cover of book

Island Life: Or, the Phenomena and Causes of Insular Faunas and Floras, Including a Revision and Attempted Solution of the Problem of Geological Climates
by Alfred Russel Wallace
foreword by David Quammen
introduction by Lawrence R. Heaney
University of Chicago Press, 2013
Paper: 978-0-226-04503-0 | eISBN: 978-0-226-04517-7
Library of Congress Classification QH85.W18 2013
Dewey Decimal Classification 577.22

Alfred Russel Wallace is best known as the codiscoverer, with Charles Darwin, of natural selection, but he was also history’s foremost tropical naturalist and the father of biogeography, the modern study of the geographical basis of biological diversity. Island Life has long been considered one of his most important works. In it he extends studies on the influence of the glacial epochs on organismal distribution patterns and the characteristics of island biogeography, a topic as vibrant and actively studied today as it was in 1880. The book includes history’s first theory of continental glaciation based on a combination of geographical and astronomical causes, a discussion of island classification, and a survey of worldwide island faunas and floras.


The year 2013 will mark the centennial of Wallace’s death and will see a host of symposia and reflections on Wallace’s contributions to evolution and natural history. This reissue of the first edition of Island Life, with a foreword by David Quammen and an extensive commentary by Lawrence R. Heaney, who has spent over three decades studying island biogeography in Southeast Asia, makes this essential and foundational reference available and accessible once again.

See other books on: Biogeography | Causes | Glacial epoch | Island ecology | Wallace, Alfred Russel
See other titles from University of Chicago Press
Nearby on shelf for Natural history (General) / General: