Abstract

Historical changes in the coastline of Kikai Island of the Ryukyu Islands in the southeast part of Japan were estimated by using a numerical simulation based on a glacio-hydro-isostasy model. Temporal changes in the area of the island during the last 40 Kyr were compared with temporal changes in species diversity in fossil land snails of the island. The species number in the past was theoretically estimated by the area of Kikai Island in the past and a species-area relationship among the modern land snail fauna of the Ryukyu Islands. The theoretical species numbers are very close to the actual ones. This suggests that the change in island area is the main cause of the change in species diversity in Kikai Island. In addition, we discuss causes other than the area, such as island elevation, distance to the nearest large island, climate change, human activity, and imperfection of fossil data. We also discuss the change in Fisher's alpha and body size against the change in the area.

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