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The Theory of EvolutionPrinciples, Concepts, and Assumptions$
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Samuel M. Scheiner and David P. Mindell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226671024

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226671338.001.0001

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The Theory of Evolutionary Biogeography

The Theory of Evolutionary Biogeography

(p.319) Sixteen The Theory of Evolutionary Biogeography
The Theory of Evolution

Rosemary G. Gillespie

Jun Y. Lim

Andrew J. Rominger

University of Chicago Press

Evolutionary biogeography lies at the intersection between two sets of highly dynamic processes. One set dictates the physical environment, in which changes in size, isolation, and overall suitability for supporting life, tend to occur in cycles of different frequencies. The second set of processes shapes the ecological and evolutionary trajectories of organisms that inhabit the physical environment. The chapter reviews some of the major biogeographic patterns, and summarize theories that have been developed to account for the different patterns, including vicariance, dispersal, island biogeography, ecophylogenetics, niche theory, and neutral theory. The chapter develops propositions for a synthetic theory of biogeography that integrates the dynamic nature of geographic space with the spatial and temporal dynamics of biodiversity. Specifically, it outlines how geological and climatological cycles lead to periods of isolation and fusion of organisms inhabiting a given area, with associated effects speciation and extinction. A synthetic theory of biogeography requires cross-domain consideration of how the cyclical nature of change in the physical environment affects the ecological and evolutionary processes of different taxa and at different scales of space and time.

Keywords:   vicariance, dispersal, island biogeography, niche theory, species pump, plate tectonics, supercontinent cycles, climatological cycles

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