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Encyclopedia > Biogeography

Biogeography is the science which deals with patterns of species distribution and the processes that result in such patterns. The patterns of species distribution at this level can usually be explained through a combination of historical factors such as speciation, extinction, continental drift, glaciation (and associated variations in sea level, river routes, and so on), and river capture, in combination with the area and isolation of landmasses (geographic constraints) and available energy supplies. In biology, a species is the basic unit of biodiversity. ... Speciation refers to the evolutionary process by which new biological species arise. ... In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of taxa. ... Portrayal of shifting continents The concept of continental drift was first proposed by Alfred Wegener. ... A glaciation (a created composite term meaning Glacial Period, referring to the Period or Era of, as well as the process of High Glacial Activity), often called an ice age, is a geological phenomenon in which massive ice sheets form in the Arctic and Antarctic and advance toward the equator. ... For considerations of sea level change, in particular rise associated with possible global warming, see sea level rise. ... In geology, river capture is an event in which one river or stream captures or intercepts part of another. ...


Prior to the publication of The Theory of Island Biogeography by Robert MacArthur and E.O. Wilson in 1967 (which expanded their 1963 paper on the same topic) the field of biogeography was seen as a primarily historical one, and as such the field was seen as a purely descriptive one. MacArthur and Wilson changed this perception, and showed that the species richness of an area could be predicted in terms of such factors as habitat area, immigration rate and extinction rate. This gave rise to an interest in island biogeography. The application of island biogeography theory to habitat fragments spurred the development of the fields of conservation biology and landscape ecology (at least among British and American academics; landscape ecology has a distinct genesis among European academics). Theory of explaining species diversity on islands that was first proposed in a Princeton Monograph co-authored by Robert MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson in 1967. ... Robert H. MacArthur (April 7, 1930-November 1, 1972) was an American ecologist who made a major impact on many areas of community and population ecology. ... E.O. Wilson with Dynastes hercules E. O. Wilson, or Edward Osborne Wilson, (born June 10, 1929) is an entomologist and biologist known for his work on ecology, evolution, and sociobiology. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... The study of island biogeography is a field within biogeography that attempts to establish and explain the factors that affect the species diversity of a particular community. ... Habitat fragmentation is a process of environmental change important in evolution and conservation biology. ... Some conservation biologists have been concerned about the Amazon rainforest. ... Landscape ecology is a subdiscipline of ecology and geography that is the study of spatial variation in interested in the of elements in the landscape (such as fields, hedgerows, woodlots, rivers or towns) and how their distribution affects the distribution and flow of energy and individuals in the environment (which...


Classic biogeography has been given a boost through the development of molecular systematics- Phylogeography. This development allowed scientists to test theories about the origin and dispersal of populations (e.g., island endemics). For example, while classic biogeographers were able to speculate about the origins of species in the Hawaiian Islands, phylogeography allows them to test theories of relatedness between these populations and putative source populations in Asia and North America. Molecular systematics is a product of the traditional field of systematics and the growing field of bioinformatics. ... In biology and ecology endemic means exclusively native to a place or biota, in contrast to cosmopolitan or introduced. ... Map of the Hawaiian Islands, a chain of islands that stretches 2,400 km in a northwesterly direction from the southern tip of the Island of Hawai‘i. ... Asia is the largest and most populous region or continent depending on the definition. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ...


Biogeography is a synthetic science, related to geography, biology, geology, climatology, ecology and evolution. Biology is the branch of science dealing with the study of life. ... Geology (from Greek γη- (ge-, the earth) and λογος (logos, word, reason)) is the science and study of the Earth, its composition, structure, physical properties, history and the processes that shape it. ... Climatology is the study of climate, and is a branch of the atmospheric sciences. ... The word ecology is often used in common parlance as a synonym for the natural environment or environmentalism. ... A speculative phylogenetic tree of all living things, based on rRNA gene data, showing the separation of the three domains, bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. ...


Some fundamentals in biogeography are

  • evolution (change in genetic composition of a population)
  • extinction (disappearance of a species)
  • dispersal (movement of populations away from their point of origin, related to migration)
  • range and distribution
  • endemic areas

A speculative phylogenetic tree of all living things, based on rRNA gene data, showing the separation of the three domains, bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. ... In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of taxa. ... Wind dispersal of dandelion seeds. ... This article is about non-human migration. ...

See also

The Biogeographic Regions are schemes of organisms distribution patterns on Earth`s surface. ... Ecozone is a classification system of the world first proposed by Miklos Udvardy under the name biogeographical realms for conservation purposes. ... Ecozone is a classification system of the world first proposed by Miklos Udvardy under the name biogeographical realms for conservation purposes. ... Ecological land classification is defined as being a cartographical delineation of distinct ecological areas, identified by their geology, topography, soils, vegetation, climate conditions, living species, water resources, as well as anthropic factors. ... An ecoregion is a relatively large area of land or water that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities. ... Macroecology is the subfield of ecology which deals with the study of relationships between organisms and their environment at large spatial scales to characterise and explain statistical patterns of abundance, distribution and diversity. ... Phylogeography is the attempt to take into account the geographic distribution of species in establishing their phylogeny, and to understand the geographic patterns that may result from divergence, ultimately leading to speciation. ... Zoogeography – is the branch of the science of biogeography that is concerned with the geographic distribution of animal species. ... Phytogeography is the branch of biogeography that is concerned with the geographic distribution of plant species. ... A floristic province is a geographic area with a relatively uniform composition of plant species. ... Portrayal of shifting continents The concept of continental drift was first proposed by Alfred Wegener. ... The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century. ... Alfred Russel Wallace for the Cornish painter see Alfred Wallis Alfred Russel Wallace, OM , FRS (January 8, 1823 – November 7, 1913) was a British naturalist, geographer, anthropologist and biologist. ... In his lifetime Charles Darwin gained international fame as an influential scientist examining controversial topics. ... Miklos Udvardy proposed classification systems of the world for conservation purposes. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

External links

Major Journals

  • Journal of Biogeography homepage.
  • Global Ecology and Biogeography homepage.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Early Classics in Biogeography, Distribution, and Diversity Studies: To 1950 (an "enhanced" biogeography bibliography) (5235 words)
Early Classics in Biogeography, Distribution, and Diversity Studies: To 1950 is a bibliography and full-text archive designed as a service to advanced students and researchers engaged in work in biogeography, biodiversity, history of science, and related studies.
The subjects involved touch on fields ranging from ecology, conservation, systematics and physical geography, to evolutionary biology, cultural biogeography, paleobiology, and bioclimatology--but have in common a relevance to the study of geographical distribution and diversity.
Carabidae of mountains and islands: Data on the evolution of isolated faunas, and on atrophy of wings
Biogeography (166 words)
Biogeography studies all aspects of the adaptations of an organism to its ENVIRONMENT, considering systematically the origins, migrations and associations of living things.
Ecology is subdivided into 3 fields of study: autecology (relations of individual species or populations to their milieu), synecology (composition of living communities) and dynecology (processes of change in related communities).
Therefore, in its widest compass, biogeography concerns itself with the EVOLUTION of species, with changes in their ranges and with their extinctions.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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