Russian Journal of Marine Biology

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 137–139 | Cite as

Sven Ekman: On the 130th anniversary of his birth

  • A. I. Kafanov
History of Science


This paper provides a brief review of the biogeographic concepts of the renowned Swedish biogeographer, zoologist, and limnologist Sven Petrus Ekman (1876–1964). He was the author of the first systematized treatise on historical marine biogeography (Ekman, 1935, 1953), in which he formulated the concept of the relict nature of contemporary tropical biotas derived from the Paleogene biota of the Tethys. Ekman (1915, 1920, 1935) proposed a biogeographic definition of the term “relict”: a species (or genus, etc.) is relic to a region if it is isolated here from the main center of distribution and if its presence can only be explained by the fact that either it or its ancestral form were left behind under different environmental conditions than at present.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. I. Kafanov
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Division, Russian Academy of SciencesVladivostokRussia

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