Biogeography of the Hawaiian Islands: The Global Context

Michael Heads

in Molecular Panbiogeography of the Tropics

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780520271968
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951808 | DOI:
Biogeography of the Hawaiian Islands: The Global Context

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The Hawaiian biota is often explained as the result of dispersal from Asian and American mainlands, either direct or by island hopping. Models of intraplate volcanism include the mantle plume/hot spot model (Wilson-Morgan model) and recent alternatives based on plate flexure. Features such as the Line Islands (now atolls) and Musicians Seamounts are proposed as former high islands and possible source areas for the Hawaiian biota. Some reconstructions have proposed that at one time, in the Oligocene, none of the Hawaiian Islands were emergent. The inferences supporting this are, however, problematic. The Hawaiian biota shows biogeographic affinities with Asia, America (especially California and the Caribbean), and the southeastern Pacific. Instead of interpreting these areas as centers of origin, the patterns are discussed here in terms of persisting metapopulations and regional tectonics.

Keywords: Hawaiian Islands; Hot-spot volcanism; Wilson-Morgan model; Line Islands; Musicians Seamounts; California; Caribbean

Chapter.  13768 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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