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Comparative Biogeography

Discovering and Classifying Biogeographical Patterns of a Dynamic Earth

Lynne Parenti (Author), Malte Ebach (Author)

Available worldwide

Hardcover, 312 pages
ISBN: 9780520259454
November 2009
$85.00, £71.00
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To unravel the complex shared history of the Earth and its life forms, biogeographers analyze patterns of biodiversity, species distribution, and geological history. So far, the field of biogeography has been fragmented into divergent systematic and evolutionary approaches, with no overarching or unifying research theme or method. In this text, Lynne Parenti and Malte Ebach address this discord and outline comparative tools to unify biogeography. Rooted in phylogenetic systematics, this comparative biogeographic approach offers a comprehensive empirical framework for discovering and deciphering the patterns and processes of the distribution of life on Earth. The authors cover biogeography from its fundamental ideas to the most effective ways to implement them. Real-life examples illustrate concepts and problems, including the first comparative biogeographical analysis of the Indo-West Pacific, an introduction to biogeographical concepts rooted in the earth sciences, and the integration of phylogeny, evolution and earth history.
Preface xi

1. Introduction 1
Classification in Science 1
Earth and Life Evolved Together 4
Biogeography 8
Comparative Biogeography 9
Classification of Areas: Systematics and Biogeography 10
Toward a Comparative Biogeography 11
Organization of This Book 13

2. History and Development of Comparative
Biogeography 17
The Meaning of Place 17
Exposing the Idea 34
Contradictory Biogeography 36
Area Homology 42
Establishing a Comparative Biogeography 47

3. Building Blocks of Biogeography: Endemic Areas
and Areas of Endemism 53
Endemism 53
Taxonomic Units and Taxa 61
Taxonomic Areas and Biota 63
Discovering Biotic Areas 66

4. Building Blocks of Biogeography:
Biotic Areas and Area Homology 75
Biotic Areas and Area Homology 75
Discovering Biotic Area Relationships 77
The Real World: Complexity of Areagrams 79

5. Biogeographic Processes 103
Biogeographic Processes 103
Vicariance and Dispersal 106
Other Explanatory Models 112
Why Not to Optimize Areas in Biogeography:
Areagrams versus Taxon/Area Cladograms (TACs) 114

6. Biogeographic Methods and Applications 119
Comparing Biogeographic Methods and Applications 119
Systematic Biogeographic Methods 121
Evolutionary Biogeographic Methods 133
Biogeographic Applications 142

7. The Systematic Biogeographic Method 153
Doing Systematic Biogeography 153
The Structure of Areagrams and Taxon-Area Cladograms 161
Converting Cladograms and Trees into
Areagrams and TACs 162
Solving Single Areagrams 168
The General Areagram: Combining
Areagrams and Subtrees 177
Discovering Geographical Congruence 181

8. Geology and Comparative Biogeography 191
A Biogeographer’s Guide to Geology 191
The Journey of a Pebble: Exploring Geological Concepts 194
Systematic Biogeography and Geology: Reciprocal Illumination 205

9. Implementing Principles: Biogeography of the Pacific 213
The Challenge of Pacific Biogeography 213
Global Endemic Areas 216
Systematic Biogeography of the Pacifi c 219
Areagram Analysis 227
General Pattern 228
Reconsidered Proposal of Endemic Areas 234
Biogeography of the Pacific: Patterns and Predictions 235

10. The Future of Biogeography 239
Biogeography and Identity 239
Overview 240
Biogeography as an Independent Discipline 243
Biogeography as an Integrative Discipline 244
Summary 249

Glossary 251
Bibliography 259
Index 281
About the Authors 293
Lynne R. Parenti is Research Scientist and Curator of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History in the Smithsonian Institution, and co-editor, with R. Claro and K. C. Lindeman, of Ecology of the Marine Fishes of Cuba (2002), co-editor, with M.L.J. Stiassny and G. D. Johnson, of Interrelationships of Fishes (1996, 1998), and co-author, with C. J. Humphries, of Cladistic biogeography (1986, 1999). Malte C. Ebach is a Post Doctoral Fellow at Arizona State University's International Institute for Species Exploration, and co-author, with D. M. Williams, of Foundations of Systematics and Biogeography (2008), and co-editor, with R. S. Tangey, of Biogeography in a Changing World (2006).
“In this well-written book, Parenti . . . and Ebach . . . provide a clear overview of the field of comparative biogeography. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice
“Most useful to scientists who are interested in understanding the origins of biogeography and the historical accidents, personalities, and conflicts that have molded our science. . . . This book provides great insight.”—Joshua A. Drew Copeia
“A fundamental contribution to historical biogeography, and a ‘must have’ publication for any researcher interested in biogeography.”—Ecoscience
“If you are looking for a glimpse into the curious world of panbiogeography, this is the best volume to get to obtain that information.”—Susanne S. Renner Qtly Review Of Biology
“A comprehensive history of biogeography.”—Environment And Ecology
"Parenti and Ebach provide a fine introduction to the aims and methods of comparative biogeography, and the difference that it makes to our view of the world. Energetic and sometimes provocative, this book shows us how we can start to untangle the interconnected threads of biotic and planetary evolution to more clearly understand how earth and life evolve together."—Sir Peter Crane, FRS, Yale University

2010 Secretary's Research Prize, Smithsonian Institution

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