KA Triantis‎ > ‎Research Projects‎ > ‎

Marie Curie Fellowship

European Commission, 6th Framework Programme on Research, Technological Development and Demonstration 

Marie Curie Actions, Intra-European Fellowships

Oxford University Centre for the Environment


(in collaboration with Prof. R.J. Whittaker, http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/staff/rwhittaker.html)



The main objective of the project is to identify factors shaping biodiversity as they pertain to the general species-area relationship patterns (SPARs),
 through the meta-analysis of the largest database (about 800-1000 data sets) so far used for this purpose. The meta-analysis will be conducted with state-of-the-art statistical analyses such as model selection criteria and structural equation modelling. Our goal is to successfully identify and cope with all the issues related to SPAR, in an effort towards a deeper understanding of this ecological regularity.

The main questions addressed in the project are: Is there a general best-fit model for all types of SPAR? Is there a unique theoretical basis for the SPAR? What is the effect of scale and system configuration on the form of SPARs? Do the parameters of particular models have any biological and ecological meaning? Which is the role of other parameters, besides area, in shaping species diversity, and how do they interfere at various geographical scales? Is there a Small Island Effect, and what is the best method to detect it? How can we use the insights gained by SPAR analyses in conservation biology?

Such a synthesis is of premium importance for a proper understanding and, thus, effective conservation and protection of biodiversity at all scales. The originality of the present proposal relies in the fact that for the first time the aspects related to the SPAR will be studied simultaneously, and not fragmentarily.

Main Publications

Triantis, K.A., Guilhaumon, F. & Whittaker, R.J. 2012. The island species-area relationship: biology and statistics. Journal of Biogeography, 39: 215-231.

Whittaker, R.J., Triantis, K.A., Ladle, R.J. 2008. A general dynamic theory of oceanic island biogeography. Journal of Biogeography, 35: 977-994.

Triantis, K.A., Nogués-Bravo, D., Hortal, J., Borges, P.A.V., Adsersen, H., Fernández-Palacios, J.M., Araújo, M.B., Whittaker, R.J. 2008. Measurements of area and the (island) species-area relationship: new directions for an old pattern. Oikos, 117: 1555-1559.

Triantis, K.A., Mylonas, M. & Whittaker, R.J. 2008. Evolutionary species-area curves as revealed by single-island endemics: insights for the interprovincial species–area relationship. Ecography, 31: 401-407.

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