Book ID: 97414
The New Flora of the Volcanic Island of Krakatau. 1908. (Reprint 2009. Cambridge Library Collection-Life Sciences). 13 b/w figs. 2 maps. 74 p. gr8vo. Paper bd.
On 27 August 1883, the island of Krakatau was destroyedin one of the most violent volcanic events ever recorded. This caused the year without a summer, thousands of deaths (mainly from tsunamis), fabulous sunsets and a measurable cooling of the oceans over nearly a century. Krakatau also provided evolutionary biologists with a unique opportunity to investigate the mechanisms of plant dispersal. This had been the subject of laborious research for Charles Darwin, who had speculated upon and, it seems, accurately postulated how an unstocked island might be recolonised. In this 1908 volume, the author analysed the effects of wind, birds and sea currents in the transport not only of seeds but also of trees, branches and even of substantial animals. Krakataus ecosystem, at a more primitive stage than that Darwin had seen on the Galapagos Islands, demonstrated how simple but continuous natural forces might re-establish a complex ecology.