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"Islands" of discontinuity in the distribution of plants are common in mainland (continental) regions. Such discontinuities should be amenable to testing the tenets of MacArthur and Wilson's island biogeography theory. Mainland gaps are often the result of discontinuities in various geological attributes-the geoedaphic syndrome of topography, lithology and soils. To discover ifgeoedaphically caused patterns of isolation are congruent with island biogeography theory, the effects of topographic discontinuity on plant distributions are examined first. Then a similar inspection is made of discontinuities in parent materials and soils. Parallels as well as differences are detected, indicating that island biogeography theory may be applied to mainland discontinuities, but with certain reservations.

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© 1991 A. R. Kruckeberg

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