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  MacArthur and Wilson suggested that the biodiversity of an island will vary in direct proportion to a function of the island’s size (i.e., larger islands can support a greater number of species) and in inverse proportion to a function of its distance from the mainland (i.e., many remote islands will tend to support fewer species). Reduced biodiversity in an island context is likely to require significant adaptation on the part of colonizing human populations. Evans argues that this limitation makes islands ideal laboratories for the study of human adaptations to the natural environment, whilst Renfrew and Wagstaff, in the introduction to their study of Melos, focus on this limitation in biodiversity as a “significant characteristic of the island ecosystem.” For human communities, however, this limitation may potentially be offset by other factors. The reduced biodiversity of an island ecosystem applies only to terrestrial resources: the resources of the sea will be as rich as on any other coastal area, and may be equally important to human communities. A small island such as Malta or Melos allows all communities direct access to the sea, providing an important nutritional “safety net,” as well as an element of dietary diversity, which may actually give island communities an advantage over their landlocked counterparts. Islands may also have specific nonbiological resources (such as obsidian on Melos), which may be used in exchange with communities on other islands and adjacent mainlands.

  1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

  A. evaluate two contrasting approaches to island biodiversity

  B. discuss the relevance of certain data pertaining to island biodiversity

  C. call into question a particular understanding of island biodiversity

  D. consider various reasons for reduced biodiversity on islands

  E. contrast large and small islands in terms of overall biodiversity

  Consider each of the choices separately and select all that apply.

  2. According to the author, factors of potential importance to human communities on islands include

  A. the accessibility of the sea’s resources

  B. a diet superior in some respects to the diet of landlocked communities

  C. nonbiological resources that can be exploited

  3. The author suggests that in considering the biodiversity of islands, Evans

  A. focuses too exclusively on terrestrial resources

  B. misunderstands the relationship between an island’s size and its terrestrial resources

  C. misinterprets the work of MacArthur and Wilson

  D. is wrong to assume that more remote islands support fewer species

  E. downplays the ways that human communities adapt to island biodiversity

  答案:C ABC A

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