Historical biogeography, ecology and species richness

John J. Wiens, Michael J. Donoghue

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1232 Scopus citations


Ecology and historical (phylogeny-based) biogeography have much to offer one another, but exchanges between these fields have been limited. Historical biogeography has become narrowly focused on using phylogenies to discover the history of geological connections among regions. Conversely, ecologists often ignore historical biogeography, even when its input can be crucial. Both historical biogeographers and ecologists have more-or-less abandoned attempts to understand the processes that determine the large-scale distribution of clades. Here, we describe the chasm that has developed between ecology and historical biogeography, some of the important questions that have fallen into it and how it might be bridged. To illustrate the benefits of an integrated approach, we expand on a model that can help explain the latitudinal gradient of species richness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-644
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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