The species–area relationship: both general and protean?

Tom Matthews, Kostas A. Triantis, Robert J. Whittaker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


We briefly describe the species-area relationship (SAR) and summarize the different types, including the main dichotomy of island species–area relationship (ISAR) and species accumulation curves (SAC). We discuss the classification of the ISAR as a fundamental ecological law, despite its protean nature. Exploring this protean behaviour, we review the different ways in which ISAR form has been shown to vary between datasets. The final section outlines the structure of the book and provides a summary of the remaining chapters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe species–area relationship
Subtitle of host publicationtheory and application
EditorsThomas J. Matthews, Kostas A. Triantis, Robert J. Whittaker
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781108569422, 9781108752039
ISBN (Print)9781108477079, 9781108701877
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Publication series

NameEcology, Biodiveristy and Conservation
PublisherCambridge University Press


  • power model
  • island species–area relationship
  • scale
  • diversity–area relationship
  • species accumulation curve
  • conservation


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