Dataset from The island biogeography of human population size
datasetposted on 2023-01-17, 11:41 authored by Fabio Mologni, Kevin C. Burns
For decades, biogeographers have sought a better understanding of how organisms are distributed among islands. However, the island biogeography of humans remains largely unknown. Here, we investigate how human population size varies among 486 islands at two spatial scales. At a global scale, we tested whether population size increases with island area and declines with island elevation and nearest mainland, as is common in non-human species, or whether humans escape such biogeographic constraints. At a regional scale, we tested whether population sizes vary among islands within archipelagos according to the positioning of different cultural source pools. Results illustrate that on a global scale, human populations increased in size with island area, similar to non-human species, yet they did not decline in size with elevation and distance to nearest mainland. At a regional scale, human population size often varied among islands within archipelagos relative to the location of different cultural source pools. Despite broad-scale similarities in the geographical distribution of human and non-human species among islands, results from this study indicate that the island biogeography of humans may also be influenced by archipelago-specific social, political and historical circumstances.