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Biogeography

  • By: Joy Nystrom Mast
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Biogeography is the study of the geographical distribution of living and fossil plants and animals as a result of ecological and evolutionary processes. Biogeography analyzes organism-environment relations through change over space and time, and it often includes human-biota interactions. The main questions explored by biogeographers deal with organism patterns to understand the underlying processes. Biogeographers ponder questions such as why is a species present in a given area? Conversely, if a species is not present, then why is it missing from the area? What are the historical and ecological factors that help determine where a species occurs? What are the effects of evolution and plate tectonics? How have humans altered geographic distribution of organisms? The science of biogeography has been revitalized in the past 60 ...

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