Species-area relation and self-similarity in a biogeographical model of speciation and extinction

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We introduce a generic model for the population growth and dispersal of individuals in species with heterogeneous, fluctuating environments. New species originate with a probability inversely proportional to the abundance of the parent species. The model generates an average number of species which depends on the domain area in agreement with the species-area relation for islands. The model also generates self-similar radiations characterized by a power-law distribution for the number of subtaxa with the same parent taxon and a 1/f power spectrum for the time series of extinctions and originations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1983-1986
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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