Borges, P.A.V. (2018) Book Reviews: putting Islands on the Map, Messages from Islands - A Global Biodiversity Tour. Hanski, I. 2016. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, U.S.A. 272 pp. ISBN 978-0-226-40644-2. Conservation Biology, 32(5): 1214-1215. DOI:10.1111/cobi.13175.
Islands have inspired a large number of scientists to develop key ecological and evolutionary theories. Ilkka Hanski, a world leading scientist in the fields of ecology, evolution, and conservation science, despite having most of his research based on continental experiments on metapopulation dynamics, shows in this book that islands were in many circumstances the inspiration for most of his research findings. Rooted in a strong capacity to observe natural phenomena, Ilkka Hanski credits his PhD work in Borneo for building his passion for biodiversity and ecological processes.
Hanski uses six model islands to show in six chapters how his experiences in Borneo (chapter 1) and Madagascar (chapter 2); on a small island on the Gulf of Finland (Haminanluoto, 2 ha.) (chapter 3); and at La Gomera (chapter 4), the Aland Islands (chapter 5), and Greenland (Chapter 6) enriched his understanding of key ecological and evolutionary processes, such as patterns of species distribution, evolutionary generation of diversity, dynamics of biodiversity change, impacts of invasions on island native communities and species, and habitat loss and fragmentation (biodiversity erosion), and why biodiversity is important.