biogeography


Biogeography is the science that is responsible for investigating the causes and effects of the distribution of living organisms on the planet. Its main objectives are based on the analysis of the appropriate conditions for the appearance, reproduction and extinction of living organisms, as well as the classification of the way in which plant and animal species are distributed in different geographical areas.

Biogeography is divided into two fields:

  • Zoogeography: this branch is responsible for investigating how animals are distributed in the world, as well as the models of animal propagation and the elements that are responsible for said propagation.
  • Phytogeography: this discipline is responsible for studying the origin, dispersion, coupling, union and development of plants, depending on their geographical location. In other words, it analyzes the habitat of plants on the planet.

Both disciplines are in turn divided into aquatic environments and terrestrial environments.

Biogeography generally fixes two approaches:

  • Historical biogeography, which gives greater emphasis to the time variable. Which means that this field investigates the historical conditions that describe the current distribution of all living beings.
  • Ecological biogeography, which gives relevance to the space variable and is oriented towards the current distribution of living beings.

Important natural scientists made significant contributions to the creation of biogeographic science, some of them were: Charles Darwin and Alexander von Humboldt, as well as the geographer Alfred Russel. All these experts affirmed that the distribution of living organisms arose from a common site, from where they proceeded to disperse everywhere. However, this theory of dispersion had to be reevaluated, during the 20th century, one of the first to do so was León Croizat, who added new ideas regarding plate tectonics and the segmentation of Pangea that showed the division of the continental landmass. This meant that the living beings that were previously in a specific area, were evolving as there was a separation of continents. In this sense, the idea arises that each living being evolves at the same time, with the area where they live.