HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF BIOGEOGRAPHY

Overview:
Accumulation of Species Distribution Data
          Theory of Evolution
Technological Innovations
          Plate Tectonics

"Renaissance" Greek, Roman, Biblical
1600 - 1850 "Age of Reason" Linnaeus, Buffon, Candolle, Lamarck, Lyell, Forbes, Sclater
1850 - 1900 Evolution by Natural Selection, but pre Continental Drift - Darwin, Wallace
1900 - 1950 Evolution and Continental Drift - Simpson, Darlington
1950 - 2000 Ecological and Historical - Croizat, MacArthur & Wilson

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The History of Biogeography
(Age of Exploration)

  • Linnaeus (1707-1778): Noachan deluge
    • Plants and Animals spread from Mount Ararat (Turkey)
    • Elevational Zones of Ararat are origins of "biomes"
  • Comte de Buffon (1707-1788): spread from the Arctic
    • Buffon's Law: distant regions with similar climate (& similar-appearing vegetation) have different animal species
      • Mediterranean climate - biome
      • Monsoonal climate - biome
      • Climate and Species are changeable

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The History of Biogeography
(Age of Exploration)




Natural Selection
(pre- Plate Tectonics)

  • Charles Darwin (1809-1882) pic 1859 (cf. 1861-65)
    • Evolution through Natural Selection
    • Theoretical Framework for Biotic Patterns in Space and Time
  • Phillip Lutley Sclater (1829-1913)
    • Five Terrestrial biotic regions (for birds)
      • Palearctic
      • Aeteopica
      • Indica
      • Neotropica
      • Nearctica
      • Australiana
    • Six Marine regions (marine mammals)
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R.O. Good's Six Floristic Regions

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Natural Selection
(pre- Plate Tectonics)

  • Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) pic
    • Biotic Regions similar to Schlater's
    • Originator of Zoogeography
      • Distance not equal taxonomic similarity
      • Integrated geological, fossil, evolutionary information
      • Considered paleoclimate influences distributions

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Nineteenth Century "NAME" Rules (Laws)
  • C.W.L. Golger (1833) within a species, individuals in moist climates are darker
  • C. Bergmann (1847) for warm blooded animals, those in colder climates are larger
  • J.A. Allen ( 1878) for warm blooded animals, those in colder climates have shorter limbs and appendages
  • E.D. Cope (1887)(orthogenesis vs. G.G. Simpson) groups tend in one direction, e.g., larger body size with time
  • Guthrie-Geist (20th Century '85 '87) for larger mammals, more food yields larger animals (island dwarfing)
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Natural Selection
(pre- Plate Tectonics)

Alternative Explanations for Transoceanic Disjunctions:
e.g., marsupials, southern beech (Nothofagus)

Land Bridges

Plate Tectonics
Expanding Earth

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Late Nineteenth Century
    C. Hart Merriam (1884)
    • Life Zones
    • Elevation and Latitudinal (cf. Alexander von Humboldt)
    • Arizona, S. Idaho
    Asa Gray (botanist)
    • disjunctions: taxonomically similar groups distantly separated

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Merriam's Life Zones


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Early Twentieth Century (on the shoulders of giants)




Plate Tectonics

  • Oceanography
  • Paleomagnetism

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Late Twentieth Century (technological revolution, ecology, paleontology)
  • Technological Advances
    • radiometric dating
  • Plate Tectonics
    • magnetometers
    • sonar, submarines
  • L. Croizat (1958) vicariance biogeography: disjunction of multiple species due to the growth of barriers
  • R. H. MacArthur and E. O. Wilson (1963) Island Biogeography

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