Portal:Islands

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The Islands Portal

A small island in Lower Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, New York state, U.S.

An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines.

An island may be described as such, despite the presence of an artificial land bridge; examples are Singapore and its causeway, and the various Dutch delta islands, such as IJsselmonde. Some places may even retain "island" in their names for historical reasons after being connected to a larger landmass by a land bridge or landfill, such as Coney Island and Coronado Island, though these are, strictly speaking, tied islands. Conversely, when a piece of land is separated from the mainland by a man-made canal, for example the Peloponnese by the Corinth Canal or Marble Hill in northern Manhattan during the time between the building of the United States Ship Canal and the filling-in of the Harlem River which surrounded the area, it is generally not considered an island.

There are two main types of islands in the sea: continental and oceanic. There are also artificial islands.

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Island ecology is the study of island organisms and their interactions with each other and the environment. Islands account for nearly 1/6 of earth’s total land area, yet the ecology of island ecosystems is vastly different from that of mainland communities. Their isolation and high availability of empty niches lead to increased speciation. As a result, island ecosystems comprise 30% of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, 50% of marine tropical diversity, and some of the most unusual and rare species. Many species still remain unknown.

The diversity of species on islands is highly impacted by human activities such as deforestation and introduction of the exotic species. In response, ecologists and managers are directing attention towards conservation and restoration of island species. Because they are simple systems, islands provide an opportunity to study processes of extinction that can be extrapolated to larger ecosystems. Read more...

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Tasmanian wine is wine produced in the Australian state of Tasmania. Located at a more southerly latitude than the rest of Australia's wine regions, Tasmania has a cooler climate and the potential to make distinctly different wines than in the rest of the country. The area grows primarily Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc, with some smaller plantings of Riesling, Pinot gris and Cabernet Sauvignon. Global warming has had positive effects on the Tasmanian wine industry, allowing most of the grapes in the past few vintages (as of 2005) to ripen fully and produce more vibrant wine. Read more...

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Lake Vuoksa 1.jpg
Credit: Dmottl

Okunevy Island in Lake Vuoksa

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The following are images from various island-related articles on Wikipedia.

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