BSsqans-discuss4 biogeogr

BSsqans-discuss4 biogeogr - BIS 1B(Winter 2008 Study...

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BIS 1B (Winter 2008) Study questions: Biogeography Discussion 4 1. Describe the differences between ecological biogeography and historical biogeography. Choose an animal taxon as an example, and show how its distribution might be explained using these two different approaches. Ecological biogeography is concerned primarily with explaining the distributions of animals and plants as a function of current (or recent) factors. These might include climate, soil conditions, and various biotic factors (competition, predation, parasitism, etc.). By contrast, historical biogeography is concerned with events and processes occurring on a much longer time scale and often over much larger areas. These include continental drift and other geological events, dispersal, vicariance, and various aspects of speciation and diversification. Example. To understand the distribution of the three species of monotremes (duck- billed platypus and two echidna species) in Australia and New Guinea one might investigate certain aspects of their ecology: what foods they eat, their competitors and natural enemies, their physiological tolerances to different climatic conditions, etc. From this one might gain an understanding of the factors restricting their distributions to particular parts of Australia and New Guinea. A historical biogeographic analysis of monotremes would involve taking into account the phylogenetic relationships of the
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BSsqans-discuss4 biogeogr - BIS 1B(Winter 2008 Study...

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