Synopses & Reviews
Though biogeography may be simply defined--the study of the geographic distributions of organisms--the subject itself is extraordinarily complex, involving a range of scientific disciplines and a bewildering diversity of approaches. For convenience, biogeographers have recognized two research traditions: ecological biogeography and historical biogeography.
This book makes sense of the profound revolution that historical biogeography has undergone in the last two decades, and of the resulting confusion over its foundations, basic concepts, methods, and relationships to other disciplines of comparative biology. Using case studies, the authors explain and illustrate the fundamentals and the most frequently used methods of this discipline. They show the reader how to tell when a historical biogeographic approach is called for, how to decide what kind of data to collect, how to choose the best method for the problem at hand, how to perform the necessary calculations, how to choose and apply a computer program, and how to interpret results.
With a welcome shift to the Southern Hemisphere, Crisci, Katinas, and Posadas comprehensively explore the discipline of historical biogeography, distinguishing between, and linking, historical and ecological biogeography. They offer a nice introduction to the field, with chapters exploring various approaches to the subject such as phylogenetics, cladistics, and experimental biogeography...Overall, this is a very thorough, extensively researched, and well-written book. L. S. Rigg
The comparative study of biodiversity in form, space, and time is this book's main theme. Recent theoretical and empirical advances in phylogenetic systematics have produced numerous cladograms and phylogenetic trees that reveal the historical structure of species diversity. Likewise, geographic information systems provide unprecedented quantitative descriptions of species' geographic dimensions. Systematists face considerable challenges, however, in constructing a theoretical and analytical framework for combining phylogenetic and geographic information to provide causal explanations of life's evolutionary history...This book's major contribution is its explanation and examples of the analytical methods used to diagnose biologically meaningful areas and to reconstruct evolutionary relationships among those areas using comparisons of species cladograms. Many of the methods covered have not gained universal or even widespread acceptance by systematists and most remain strongly associated with individual researchers or institutions and largely dismissed or ignored by others. The authors' attention to detail in the historical development of these methods is therefore very helpful...Philosophers and historians of systematics should find much of interest in this exploration of the power of algorithms to synthesize evolution's spatial and temporal dimensions across microevolutionary and macroevolutionary time. Choice
Though biogeography may be simply defined--the study of the geographic distributions of organisms--the subject itself is extraordinarily complex, involving a range of scientific disciplines and a bewildering diversity of approaches. For convenience, biogeographers have recognized two research traditions: ecological biogeography and historical biogeography.< /p>
Includes bibliographical references (p. 210-239) and index.
About the Author
Jorge V. Crisci is Director of the Laboratory of Systematics and Evolutionary Biology at the Museum of Natural Sciences of La Plata, Argentina.Liliana Katinas is Assistant Professor of Botany and Biogeography at La Plata National University, Argentina.Paula Posadas is Assistant Professor of Taxonomy and Biogeography at Patagonia National University, Argentina.
Museo de La Plata
Table of Contents
Introduction: What Is Historical Biogeography?
Part I: Methods in Historical Biogeography
1. Defining Distribution Areas and Areas of Endemism
2. Center of Origin and Dispersal
3. Phylogenetic Biogeography
4. Ancestral Areas
6. Cladistic Biogeography
7. Parsimony Analysis of Endemicity
8. Event-Based Methods
10. Experimental Biogeography
11. A Comparison of Methods: The Case of the Southern Beeches
Part II: Topics in Historical Biogeography
12. Molecular Phylogenies in Biogeography
13. Biodiversity and Conservation Evaluations
14. Species Introduction
Conclusion: A Conceptual Framework for the Future
Appendix A: Phylogeny
Appendix B: Software in Historical Biogeography