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33 Cards in this Set

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Biogeography is…
…the study of the distribution of organisms in space through time
Addresses the distributional patterns of species and processes that produce those distributions
…an endeavor that predates ideas of natural selection and plate tectonics.
For example, ancient cultures may have wanted to know where to reliably find certain sources of food or medicine.
“Kinds” of biogeography (2)
Descriptive biogeography - Concerned with finding the ranges of species, genera, families, etc.

Interpretive biogeography - Concerned with taking the data gathered in descriptive biogeography and developing hypotheses, predictions and explanations about organisms.
Two types of interpretive biogeography
1. Ecological biogeography - The study of mechanisms which govern the distribution of organisms. Explains why organisms live where they do with reference to physical factors of the environment such as temperature, elevation, and latitude.

2. Historical biogeography - The study of the spatial and temporal distributions of organisms which attempts to provide explanations for these distributions based on past historical events.

These two areas are not mutually exclusive. After all, many historical patterns have, ultimately, ecological bases, and distribution has a historical as well as ecological component. However, the goals and interests of the ecological biogeographer lie more with ecology than with evolution.
More on descriptive biogeography
Determining the ranges of organisms and what taxa are present within a certain geographic area.
In the 1700's & 1800's, the main interest naturalists had in biogeography was to describe where plants and animals lived and the physical factors of the environment.

It was Alfred R. Wallace who first noticed that the distribution of plants and animals revealed the existence of six major biogeographical realms, each characterized by the presence of unique taxa:
Major Biogeographical Provinces/realms (6)
1. Paleartic
2. Neartic
3. Neotropical
4. Ethiopian
5. Oriental
6. Australian
1. Paleartic
Europe, Africa north of the Sahara, and Asia north of the Himalayas and Nan-ling mountains. The typical animals: oxen, sheep, goats, magpies.
2. Neartic
Greenland and North America north of the Northern Plateau in Mexico. The typical animals: prairie dogs, raccoons, turkeys, mountain goats, pronghorn antelope.
3. Neotropical
South and Central America, southern Mexico, and the West Indies. The typical animals: alpacas, llamas, prehensile-tailed monkeys, tapirs, sloths.
4. Ethiopian
Africa south of the Sahara and Madagascar. The typical animals: gorilla, zebra, hippopotamus, giraffe.
5. Oriental
India, Sri Lanka, southeast Asia, southern China, the Malay Peninsula, and some islands of the East Indies (Philippines, Java, Borneo, Bali). The typical animals: orangutan, Indian elephant, black panther.
6. Australian
Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea. The typical animals: kangaroos, wombats, koala, duck-billed platypus, echidna.
Species distributions
Fundamental to biogeography
Observations: no species is found everywhere and individuals of a species are not randomly distributed across the globe
A species range is more difficult to construct than you might initially think
Special kinds of distributions (are not antonyms) (2)
Disjunct distribution: range of a particular taxon (species or genus or family…) that is not contiguous

Endemic distribution: range of a particular taxon is confined to a particular area
“Some species of giant tortoise are endemic to the Galapagos Islands.”
“Mesodon normalis is a ubiquitous snail at lower elevations. It is endemic to the Appalachian Mountains .”
Historical biogeog. - Organisms live where they do for one of two reasons:
(1) their ancestors originally occurred somewhere else, and later they, or their descendants, dispersed into new areas where their descendants survive today, or
(2) their ancestors originated there and their descendants survive there today.
Historical biogeog. - Two reasons characterize two types of historical explanation:
1. Dispersal - the organism moved to the area by some mechanism such as motility, rafting, etc.
2. Vicariance event - geological events, such as continental drift, cause organisms to be where they are.
Biogeography is…
…the study of the distribution of organisms in space through time
Addresses the distributional patterns of species and processes that produce those distributions
…an endeavor that predates ideas of natural selection and plate tectonics.
For example, ancient cultures may have wanted to know where to reliably find certain sources of food or medicine.
“Kinds” of biogeography (2)
Descriptive biogeography - Concerned with finding the ranges of species, genera, families, etc.

Interpretive biogeography - Concerned with taking the data gathered in descriptive biogeography and developing hypotheses, predictions and explanations about organisms.
Two types of interpretive biogeography
1. Ecological biogeography - The study of mechanisms which govern the distribution of organisms. Explains why organisms live where they do with reference to physical factors of the environment such as temperature, elevation, and latitude.

2. Historical biogeography - The study of the spatial and temporal distributions of organisms which attempts to provide explanations for these distributions based on past historical events.

These two areas are not mutually exclusive. After all, many historical patterns have, ultimately, ecological bases, and distribution has a historical as well as ecological component. However, the goals and interests of the ecological biogeographer lie more with ecology than with evolution.
More on descriptive biogeography
Determining the ranges of organisms and what taxa are present within a certain geographic area.
In the 1700's & 1800's, the main interest naturalists had in biogeography was to describe where plants and animals lived and the physical factors of the environment.

It was Alfred R. Wallace who first noticed that the distribution of plants and animals revealed the existence of six major biogeographical realms, each characterized by the presence of unique taxa:
Major Biogeographical Provinces/realms (6)
1. Paleartic
2. Neartic
3. Neotropical
4. Ethiopian
5. Oriental
6. Australian
1. Paleartic
Europe, Africa north of the Sahara, and Asia north of the Himalayas and Nan-ling mountains. The typical animals: oxen, sheep, goats, magpies.
2. Neartic
Greenland and North America north of the Northern Plateau in Mexico. The typical animals: prairie dogs, raccoons, turkeys, mountain goats, pronghorn antelope.
3. Neotropical
South and Central America, southern Mexico, and the West Indies. The typical animals: alpacas, llamas, prehensile-tailed monkeys, tapirs, sloths.
4. Ethiopian
Africa south of the Sahara and Madagascar. The typical animals: gorilla, zebra, hippopotamus, giraffe.
5. Oriental
India, Sri Lanka, southeast Asia, southern China, the Malay Peninsula, and some islands of the East Indies (Philippines, Java, Borneo, Bali). The typical animals: orangutan, Indian elephant, black panther.
6. Australian
Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea. The typical animals: kangaroos, wombats, koala, duck-billed platypus, echidna.
Species distributions
Fundamental to biogeography
Observations: no species is found everywhere and individuals of a species are not randomly distributed across the globe
A species range is more difficult to construct than you might initially think
Special kinds of distributions (are not antonyms) (2)
Disjunct distribution: range of a particular taxon (species or genus or family…) that is not contiguous

Endemic distribution: range of a particular taxon is confined to a particular area
“Some species of giant tortoise are endemic to the Galapagos Islands.”
“Mesodon normalis is a ubiquitous snail at lower elevations. It is endemic to the Appalachian Mountains .”
Historical biogeog. - Organisms live where they do for one of two reasons:
(1) their ancestors originally occurred somewhere else, and later they, or their descendants, dispersed into new areas where their descendants survive today, or
(2) their ancestors originated there and their descendants survive there today.
Historical biogeog. - Two reasons characterize two types of historical explanation:
1. Dispersal - the organism moved to the area by some mechanism such as motility, rafting, etc.

2. Vicariance event - geological events, such as continental drift, cause organisms to be where they are.

*Both dispersal and vicariance can result in allopatric speciation! MAKE SURE YOU LOOK AT SLIDE 20!
History of historical biogeography
After 1859, many biologists thought dispersal was the main process responsible for modern distributions. They believed in different land bridges (LOOK AT SLIDE 23)
Vicariance
Rather than organisms actively dispersing themselves across the landscape, vicariance explanations propose that the landscape transforms and moves the organisms.
The most obvious mechanism of vicariance comes from continental drift.
Acceptance of continental drift led biogeographers to realize that vicariance also played a major role in shaping organismal distributions.
Some biological implications of continental drift - The continents' odyssey across the globe influences evolution in a number of ways (5)
1. It carries the plants and animals that live on the continents into new climates, thus altering their environment and often requiring new adaptations or causing extinction.
2. It may split a continent, resulting in allopatric speciation
3. When continents collide, organisms once separated come into contact with each other. This sets up new competition and coevolution interactions.
4. The position of the continents affects global climate patterns and is responsible for general warming or cooling trends.
5. Habitats are changed—coastline is formed and lost, plains become flooded with sea water, shallow seas become cut off and evaporate, etc.