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Trends Ecol Evol. 2004 Dec;19(12):639-44.

Historical biogeography, ecology and species richness.

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Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5245, USA.


Ecology and historical (phylogeny-based) biogeography have much to offer one another, but exchanges between these fields have been limited. Historical biogeography has become narrowly focused on using phylogenies to discover the history of geological connections among regions. Conversely, ecologists often ignore historical biogeography, even when its input can be crucial. Both historical biogeographers and ecologists have more-or-less abandoned attempts to understand the processes that determine the large-scale distribution of clades. Here, we describe the chasm that has developed between ecology and historical biogeography, some of the important questions that have fallen into it and how it might be bridged. To illustrate the benefits of an integrated approach, we expand on a model that can help explain the latitudinal gradient of species richness.


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