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Biogeography. An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach. Edition No. 9

  • ID: 3609994
  • Book
  • May 2016
  • 496 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd

Through eight successful editions, and over nearly 40 years, Biogeography: An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach has provided a thorough and comprehensive exploration of the varied scientific disciplines and research that are essential to understanding the subject. The text has been praised for its solid background in historical biogeography and basic biology, that is enhanced and illuminated by discussions of current research.

This new edition incorporates the exciting changes of the recent years, and presents a thoughtful exploration of the research and controversies that have transformed our understanding of the biogeography of the world. It also clearly identifies the three quite different arenas of biogeographical research: continental biogeography, island biogeography and marine biogeography. It is the only current textbook with full coverage of marine biogeography.

It reveals how the patterns of life that we see today have been created by the two great Engines of the Planet - the Geological Engine, plate tectonics, which alters the conditions of life on the planet, and the Biological Engine, evolution, which responds to these changes by creating new forms and patterns of life.

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Preface xi

Acknowledgements xiii

1 The History of Biogeography 1

Lessons from the Past 1

Ecological versus Historical Biogeography, and Plants versus Animals 3

Biogeography and Creation 4

The Distribution of Life Today 5

Evolution – a Flawed and Dangerous Idea! 7

Enter Darwin – and Wallace 8

World Maps: Biogeographical Regions of Plants and Animals 10

Getting around the World 12

The Origins of Modern Historical Biogeography 16

The Development of Ecological Biogeography 19

Living Together 20

Marine Biogeography 23

Island Biogeography 24

Biogeography Today 26


2 Patterns of Distribution: Finding a Home 33

Limits of Distribution 37 The Niche 38

Overcoming the Barriers 39

Climatic Limits: The Palms 41

A Successful Family: The Daisies (Asteraceae) 42

Patterns among Plovers 46

Magnolias: Evolutionary Relicts 49

The Strange Case of the Testate Amoeba 50

Climatic Relicts 52

Topographical Limits and Endemism 59

Physical Limits 60

Species Interaction: A Case of the Blues 66

Competition 69

Reducing Competition 71

Predators and Prey, Parasites and Hosts 73

Migration 76

Invasion 79

3 Communities and Ecosystems: Living Together 89

The Community 89

The Ecosystem 92

Ecosystems and Species Diversity 95

Biotic Assemblages on a Global Scale 98

Mountain Biomes 103

Global Patterns of Climate 106

Climate Diagrams 109

Modelling Biomes and Climate 112

4 Patterns of Biodiversity 117

How Many Species are There? 118

Latitudinal Gradients of Diversity 123

Is Evolution Faster in the Tropics? 131

The Legacy of Glaciation 132

Latitude and Species Ranges 133

Diversity and Altitude 134

Biodiversity Hotspots 136

Diversity in Space and Time 139

Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis 141

Dynamic Biodiversity and Neutral Theory 142


5 Plate Tectonics 149

The Evidence for Plate Tectonics 149

Changing Patterns of Continents 154

How Plate Tectonics affects the Living World, Part I: Events on Land 154

How Plate Tectonics affects the Living World, Part II: Events in the Oceans 156

Islands and Plate Tectonics 162 Terranes 164

6 Evolution, the Source of Novelty 169

The Mechanism of Evolution: The Genetic System 172

From Populations to Species 173

Sympatry versus Allopatry 176

Defining the Species 179

A Case Study: Darwin’s Finches 180

Controversies and Evolution 183

Charting the Course of Evolution 188


7 Life, Death and Evolution on Islands 195

Types of Island 196

Getting There: The Challenges of Arriving 196

Dying There: Problems of Survival 197

Adapting and Evolving 199

The Hawaiian Islands 201

Integrating the Data: The Theory of Island Biogeography 208

Modifying the Theory 212

The General Dynamic Model for Oceanic Island Biogeography 214

Nestedness 216

Living Together: Incidence and Assembly Rules 216

Building an Ecosystem: The History of Rakata 218


8 From Evolution to Patterns of Life 231

Dispersal, Vicariance and Endemism 231

Methods of Analysis 232

Event‐Based Biogeography 236

Reticulate Patterns 239

The Molecular Approach to Historical Biogeography 245

Molecules and the More Distant Past 250

9 Patterns in the Oceans 255

Zones in the Ocean and on the Seafloor 257

Basic Biogeography of the Seas 260

The Open‐Sea Environment 261

The Ocean Floor 268

The Shallow‐Sea Environment 273

10 Patterns in the Past 291

Early Land Life on the Moving Continents 292

One World – for a While 295

Biogeography of the Earliest Mammals 298

Early History of the Flowering Plants 303

Reconstructing Early Biomes 305

11 Setting the Scene for Today 315

The Biogeographical Regions Today 315

The Basis of Mammal Biogeography 317

Patterns of Distribution Today, I: The Mammals 319

Patterns of Distribution Today, II: The Flowering Plants 322

History of Today’s Biogeographical Regions 323

The Old World Tropics: Africa, India and South‐East Asia 324

Australia 331

New Caledonia 334

New Zealand 335

The West Indies 336

South America 341

The Northern Hemisphere: Holarctic Mammals and Boreal Plants 346

12 Ice and Change 353

Climatic Wiggles 354

Interglacials and Interstadials 356

Biological Changes in the Pleistocene 358

The Last Glacial 361

Causes of Glaciation 370

The Current Interglacial: A False Start 375

Forests on the Move 377

The Dry Lands 381

Changing Sea Levels 383

A Time of Warmth 384

Climatic Cooling 386

Recorded History 388

Atmosphere and Oceans: Short‐Term Climate Change 388

The Future 390


13 The Human Intrusion 399

The Emergence of Humans 399

Modern Humans and the Megafaunal Extinctions 406

Plant Domestication and Agriculture 409

Animal Domestication 414

Diversification of Homo sapiens 415

The Biogeography of Human Parasitic Diseases 417

Environmental Impact of Early Human Cultures 420

14 Conservation Biogeography 425

Welcome to the Anthropocene 425

Less, and Less Interesting 429

What is behind the Biodiversity Crisis? 430

Crisis Management: Responding to Biodiversity Loss 435

The Birth of Conservation Biogeography 437

The Scope of Conservation Biogeography 438

Conservation Biogeography in Action 443

The Future is Digital 446

Conclusions 449

Glossary 455

Index 469

Colour plates between pages 146 and 147

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C. Barry Cox
Peter D. Moore Kings College, London.

Richard J. Ladle University of Oxford.
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