Off-campus University of Richmond users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log in to our proxy server with your university username and password.

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. John Bishop


Little is known even today about how the interrelation between internal and external factors effects a given communities composition and structure. Edward 0. Wilson and Robert H. MacArthur (1967) were the first to truly develop a scientific theory concerning community structure with the theory of island biogeography. Island biogeography focused on the interplay between an island and nearby land masses and how both island area and distance between land masses effects species composition of and island over time. The major assertion being that an equilibrium in the number of species able to occupy an island is reached based on area and location and that an islands species carrying capacity would be determined by this equilibrium. However, Wilson and MacArthur acknowledged that the theory did not effectively consider much of the internal factors, namely those unique to a given community, that may effect species composition. This they believed would need to be discovered over time with the development of mathematical models and other "novel" sciences (Wilson and MacArthur, 1967).