History of Biogeography


Biogeography is the study of the large‐scale distribution patterns of flora and fauna. Modern studies date from the nineteenth century when biologists realized that former changes in the geology and geography of the globe helped plants and animals expand or contract their range. Evolutionary ideas, and then the notion of continental drift, became key concepts.

Keywords: continental drift; dispersal; ecology; evolution; exploration; natural selection

Further Reading

Bowler PJ (1992) The History of the Environmental Sciences. London: Fontana.

Brockway LH (1979) Science and Colonial Expansion: the Role of the British Royal Botanic Gardens. New York: Academic Press.

Browne EJ (1983) The Secular Ark: Studies in the History of Biogeography. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Camerini J (1993) Evolution, biogeography, and maps: an early history of Wallace's line. Isis 84: 700–727.

Deacon M (1971) Scientists and the Sea, 1650–1900: a Study of Marine Science. London: Academic Press.

Fichman M (1977) Wallace: zoogeography and the problem of land bridges. Journal of the History of Biology 10: 45–63.

Lyell C (1830–1833) Principles of Geology. Reprinted with an introduction by MJS Rudwick. 3 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

Nicolson M (1987) Alexander von Humboldt, Humboldtian science and the origins of the study of vegetation. History of Science 25: 167–194.

Stafleu FA (1971) Linnaeus and the Linnaeans: the Spreading of their Ideas in Systematic Botany, 1735–1789. Utrecht: International Association of Plant Taxonomy.

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Browne, Janet(Apr 2001) History of Biogeography. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003092]