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Proc Biol Sci. 2009 Apr 22;276(1661):1391-3. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2009.0100. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

Geographic range limits of species.

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Biodiversity and Macroecology Group, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.


Understanding the forms that the geographic range limits of species take, their causes and their consequences are key issues in ecology and evolutionary biology. They are also topics on which understanding is advancing rapidly. This themed issue of Proc. R. Soc. B focuses on the wide variety of current research perspectives on the nature and determinants of the limits to geographic ranges. The contributions address important themes, including the roles and influences of dispersal limitation, species interactions and physiological limitation, the broad patterns in the structure of geographic ranges, and the fundamental question of why at some point species no longer evolve the ability to overcome the factors constraining their distributions and thus fail to continue to spread. In this introduction, these contributions are placed in the wider context of these broad themes.

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