Island assemblages have been variously viewed as (1) randomly drawn from a regional species pool, or (2) largely determined by ecological factors such as habitat controls, or (3) some combination of (1) and (2). It has also been recognised that successional assemblage rules may be derivable for the period of species build-up in insular situations. In plants, one of the major correlates of colonization ability is the dispersal system of the species involved. This paper synthesizes our recent work concerning the re-colonization of the Krakatau Islands, Indonesia, by plants. From it we derive a descriptive model of the dispersal-structure of plant colonization, which we hope will provide a step towards an eventual predictive model. This approach should be applicable to understanding plant colonization of other continental shelf islands and, with appropriate modification, also to habitat islands and thus to restoration ecology.
Oikos (1994) 69 (3) 524-530.