• Depending on the reliability of the source data and the nature of the models employed (including the scales for which data are available), maps generated from such models
    may then provide better representations of the “real” biogeographic distributions of either individual species, groups of species, or biodiversity as a whole, however it should also be borne in mind that historic or recent human activities
    (such as hunting of great whales, or other human-induced exterminations) may have altered present-day species distributions from their potential “full” ecological footprint.

  • [31] Since it is self evident that compilations of species occurrence records cannot cover with any completeness, areas that have received either limited or no sampling, a
    number of methods have been developed to produce arguably more complete “predictive” or “modelled” distributions for species based on their associated environmental or other preferences (such as availability of food or other habitat requirements);
    this approach is known as either Environmental niche modelling (ENM) or Species distribution modelling (SDM).

  • [16] He discussed plant distribution and his theories eventually had a great impact on Charles Darwin, who was inspired to consider species adaptations and evolution after
    learning about botanical geography.

  • [10] Introduction The patterns of species distribution across geographical areas can usually be explained through a combination of historical factors such as: speciation,
    extinction, continental drift, and glaciation.

  • Examples of predictive maps produced by niche modelling methods based on either GBIF (terrestrial) or OBIS (marine, plus some freshwater) data are the former Lifemapper project
    at the University of Kansas (now continued as a part of BiotaPhy[32]) and AquaMaps, which as at 2023 contain modelled distributions for around 200,000 terrestrial, and 33,000 species of teleosts, marine mammals and invertebrates, respectively.

  • [15] Biogeography continues as a point of study for many life sciences and geography students worldwide, however it may be under different broader titles within institutions
    such as ecology or evolutionary biology.

  • Buffon’s law eventually became a principle of biogeography by explaining how similar environments were habitats for comparable types of organisms.

  • As one of the first to contribute empirical data to the science of biogeography through his travel as an explorer, he observed differences in climate and vegetation.

  • Two global information systems are either dedicated to, or have strong focus on, biogeography (in the form of the spatial location of observations of organisms), namely the
    Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF: 2.57 billion species occurrence records reported as at August 2023)[29] and, for marine species only, the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS, originally the Ocean Biogeographic Information
    System: 116 million species occurrence records reported as at August 2023),[30] while at a national scale, similar compilations of species occurrence records also exist such as the U.K. National Biodiversity Network, the Atlas of Living Australia,
    and many others.

  • [32][33] One advantage of ENM/SDM is that in addition to showing current (or even past) modelled distributions, insertion of changed parameters such as the anticipated effects
    of climate change can also be used to show potential changes in species distributions that may occur in the future based on such scenarios.

  • His observations led him to conclude that the number of organisms present in a community was dependent on the amount of food resources in the particular habitat.

  • Though Wegener did not know the mechanism of this concept of Continental Drift, this contribution to the study of biogeography was significant in the way that it shed light
    on the importance of environmental and geographic similarities or differences as a result of climate and other pressures on the planet.

  • A biogeographer’s main focus is on how the environment and humans affect the distribution of species as well as other manifestations of Life such as species or genetic diversity.

  • [18] Since he noted that Earth’s climate changes, he realized that species distribution must also change accordingly.

  • Darwin’s theories started a biological segment to biogeography and empirical studies, which enabled future scientists to develop ideas about the geographical distribution
    of organisms around the globe.

  • Some fundamental concepts in biogeography include: • allopatric speciation – the splitting of a species by evolution of geographically isolated populations • 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 • endemic areas • geodispersal – the erosion of barriers to biotic
    dispersal and gene flow, that permit range expansion and the merging of previously isolated biotas • range and distribution • vicariance – the formation of barriers to biotic dispersal and gene flow, that tend to subdivide species and biotas,
    leading to speciation and extinction; vicariance biogeography is the field that studies these patterns Comparative biogeography[edit] The study of comparative biogeography can follow two main lines of investigation:[37] • Systematic biogeography,
    the study of biotic area relationships, their distribution, and hierarchical classification • Evolutionary biogeography, the proposal of evolutionary mechanisms responsible for organismal distributions.

  • He and Philip Sclater saw biogeography as a source of support for the theory of evolution as they used Darwin’s conclusion to explain how biogeography was similar to a record
    of species inheritance.

  • 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 on various continents, notably in Asia and North America.

  • Using molecular analyses and corroborated by fossils, it has been possible to demonstrate that perching birds evolved first in the region of Australia or the adjacent Antarctic
    (which at that time lay somewhat further north and had a temperate climate).

  • Importantly, late in his career Wegener recognised that testing his theory required measurement of continental movement rather than inference from fossils species distributions.

  • [4] This theory was revolutionary because it changed the way that everyone thought about species and their distribution around the globe.

  • Buffon believed there was a single species creation event, and that different regions of the world were homes for varying species, which is an alternate view than that of

  • [4] This ultimately enabled him to create the isotherm, which allowed scientists to see patterns of life within different climates.

  • This was inspired by his observations comparing the Old and New World, as he determined distinct variations of species from the two regions.

  • This diversity in habitat allows for a wide range of species study in different parts of the world.

  • Modern applications Biogeography now incorporates many different fields including but not limited to physical geography, geology, botany and plant biology, zoology, general
    biology, and modelling.

  • For example, data from species-level phylogenetic and biogeographic studies tell us that the Amazonian teleost fauna accumulated in increments over a period of tens of millions
    of years, principally by means of allopatric speciation, and in an arena extending over most of the area of tropical South America (Albert & Reis 2011).

  • He was the first to see different groups of organisms in different regions of the world.

  • His contributions to biogeography and the theory of evolution were different from those of other explorers of his time, because he developed a mechanism to describe the ways
    that species changed.

  • In recent years, one of the most important and consequential developments in biogeography has been to show how multiple organisms, including mammals like monkeys and reptiles
    like squamates, overcame barriers such as large oceans that many biogeographers formerly believed were impossible to cross.

  • [26] Two main types of satellite imaging that are important within modern biogeography are Global Production Efficiency Model (GLO-PEM) and Geographic Information Systems

  • Knowledge of spatial variation in the numbers and types of organisms is as vital to us today as it was to our early human ancestors, as we adapt to heterogeneous but geographically
    predictable environments.

  • Over periods of ecological changes, biogeography includes the study of plant and animal species in: their past and/or present living refugium habitat; their interim living
    sites; and/or their survival locales.

  • [24] Classic biogeography has been expanded by the development of molecular systematics, creating a new discipline known as phylogeography.

  • “[12] Modern biogeography often employs the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), to understand the factors affecting organism distribution, and to predict future trends
    in organism distribution.

  • [10] Several additional scientists contributed new theories to further develop the concept of biogeography.

  • [15] Islands are also ideal locations because they allow scientists to look at habitats that new invasive species have only recently colonized and can observe how they disperse
    throughout the island and change it.

  • Darwin introduced the idea of natural selection, as he theorized against previously accepted ideas that species were static or unchanging.

  • This theory explained how the world was not created by one sole catastrophic event, but instead from numerous creation events and locations.

  • This development allowed scientists to test theories about the origin and dispersal of populations, such as island endemics.

  • Additionally, this science considers the geographic constraints of landmass areas and isolation, as well as the available ecosystem energy supplies.

  • [35] Not knowing that at the time of dispersal, the Indian Ocean was much narrower than it is today, and that South America was closer to the Antarctic, one would be hard
    pressed to explain the presence of many “ancient” lineages of perching birds in Africa, as well as the mainly South American distribution of the suboscines.

  • Wilson in 1967[23] showed that the species richness of an area could be predicted in terms of such factors as habitat area, immigration rate and extinction rate.

  • [47][49] In 2000, Westermann suggested that the difficulties in getting formal nomenclatural rules established in this field might be related to “the curious fact that neither
    paleo- nor neobiogeographers are organized in any formal groupings or societies, nationally (so far as I know) or internationally — an exception among active disciplines.

  • His influential ideas include the development of theories regarding the struggle for existence and natural selection.

  • Organisms and biological communities often vary in a regular fashion along geographic gradients of latitude, elevation, isolation and habitat area.

  • When he noticed that species were not as perpetual as he believed, he developed the Mountain Explanation to explain the distribution of biodiversity; when Noah’s ark landed
    on Mount Ararat and the waters receded, the animals dispersed throughout different elevations on the mountain.

  • analyzed the distribution of 65,000 species of marine animals and plants as then documented in OBIS, and used the results to distinguish 30 distinct marine realms, split between
    continental-shelf and offshore deep-sea areas.

  • [10] Augustin de Candolle contributed to the field of biogeography as he observed species competition and the several differences that influenced the discovery of the diversity
    of life.


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