La dimension biogéographique de l’évolution de la Vie

Fabrizio CECCA

fr Comptes Rendus Palevol 8 (2-3) - Pages 119-132

Published on 30 April 2009

This article is a part of the thematic issue Evolutionary history of Life

The biogeographic dimension of Life Evolution

The role that biogeography plays in the mechanisms of biological evolution is strongly debated. Darwin’s ideas are discussed in the present paper on the basis of a short review of the role of the geographic dimension in speciation processes, and of the basic concepts and classic models of biogeography. Darwin’s model of dispersal from a “centre of origin” was proposed when proofs of continental motion were not yet conclusive. The vicariant model, opposed to the dispersal one, is now supported by plate tectonics and ocean floor expansion. These two classic models of biogeography could correspond to cases of biogeographic convergence and divergence, which are related to palaeogeographic changes.


Biogeography, Speciation, Vicariance, Dispersal, Disjunct distribution

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