Biogeographic Patterns of the Galápagos Porcelain Crab Fauna

  • Alan W. Harvey
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 8)


Twelve species of porcelain crabs are currently known from the Galápagos Islands. The basic question addressed by this chapter is: Why do these twelve species, and not any of the nearly 80 other species from the eastern Pacific, or of the more than 90 species from the Indo-West Pacific, constitute the Galápagos porcellanid fauna? The geographic distribution of a species is affected by many different factors. These include biological attributes of the species, such as dispersal and competitive abilities and habitat specificity; regional characteristics, such as temperature regimes, habitat diversity and geographic isolation; geological history of the region and of the species; and random chance. Identifying the contributions of any of these factors is complicated by the generally nonexperimental nature of biogeography (see Simberloff and Wilson, 1969, for an example of experimental biogeography) and by the fact that many biogeographic processes appear to generate similar patterns (Connor and Simberloff, 1979; McCoy and Heck, 1987).


Dispersal Ability Oceanic Island Hermit Crab Island Biogeography Larval Duration 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan W. Harvey
    • 1
  1. 1.Shannon Point Marine CenterAnacortesUSA

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