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Biogeography is the study of the spatial patterns of life on Earth. The causes of the spatial distribution of species is a fundamental question that is of interest to many disciplines, including ecology, conservation biology, evolution, and geology. Understanding biogeographic patterns usually requires perspectives from all of these fields of study, and thus, research in biogeography requires a broad perspective. As children, we have all been taught basic biogeographic patterns (for example, lions occur in Africa, and the tropical rain forests support high species diversity). Biogeographers seek to answer the why and how questions that explain these basic patterns. These questions have also been driving factors behind some of the greatest scientific discoveries of the past 2 centuries, including evolution and plate tectonics.

Biogeographic research ...

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