Ecological Factors and their Biogeographic Consequences in the Mediterranean Ecosystems

  • Michele Sara
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 8)


The biogeographical research of today is mainly concerned with the explaining of the pattern of species and ecosystem distribution from a causal point of view. Unfortunately this effort involves difficult questions to which the present development of biogeography does not give precise answers. Recently three hypotheses have been advanced concerning terrestrial and freshwater biogeography; they are known as the vicariance, the dispersal and the ecological models, according to the set of factors that is considered more important in determining the distribution of plants and animals (Endler, 1982). The vicariance and dispersal hypotheses tend to emphasize especially the historical factors, whereas the ecological hypothesis reflects the present ones. However it seems clear that a synthesis is needed which may incorporate these competing models and that in every case ecology plays a major role together with dispersal and vicariance (Davis, 1982). Consequently it appears very useful also for marine biogeographical research to adopt a plural approach which should take into consideration the different sets of factors and their interrelationships. As other branches of biology, biogeography is directly concerned with evolutionary problems. When we analyze the role of ecological factors we cannot consider only the present one, but also that which they played in geological time, influencing the immigration and extinction of species and the evolutionary rates of taxa and ecosystems.


Ecological Factor Historical Factor Decapod Crustacean Interglacial Period Mediterranean Ecosystem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Sara
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di ZoologiaUniversità di GenovaGenovaItaly

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