Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Animal and plant species are not global in distribution; nor are they distributed at random around the globe. Their ranges are constrained by part events and by past and present environments; so we can speak, in broad terms, of historical and ecological biogeography, though these two subfields are very strongly interdependent. One constantly finds that the species on either side of a barrier, such as a river, a mountain range, a sea channel, or a belt of hostile terrain, are different; the question arises whether the division is due more to the physical barrier itself or to subtle ecological differences on either side. Zoogeographers (those who study animal distribution) and phytogeographers (who study plant distribution) each divide the world into major regions; these coincide in broad outlines, but differ in detail. The corresponding regions are as follows. Within each of the floral kingdoms (except the Capensic) are distinct subkingdoms, and ...