Biodiversity Science ›› 2003, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (5): 364-369.doi: 10.17520/biods.2003044

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Advances in study of the distribution area of species

ZHANG Wen-Ju, CHEN Jia-Kuan   

  1. Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biociversity Science and Ecological Engineering,Institute of Biodiversity Science,School of Life Sciences,Fudan University,Shanghai 200433
  • Received:2003-04-07 Revised:2003-07-19 Online:2003-09-20
  • ZHANG Wen-Ju

In the past 10 years, distribution area has become an important concept in macro-ecology. Species geographic range is not only closely related to extinction, niche breadth, and ecological invasion, but is also connected with local abundance and the latitudinal gradient in species richness. In this paper, recent advances in species geographic range (distribution area) were reviewed.  The review showed that:(i) The positive abundance-geographic range relationship is a very general biogeographic pattern, but it is restricted by the history of species, the scale of sample, the mobility of species, etc.  (ii) Though the latitudinal gradient in species geographic range size (Rapoport′s rule) sometimes is violated, especially in low latitude regions, it still has significance in biogeography and can be extended to altitudinal gradients of mountains and depth gradients of oceans. (iii) Species geographic range, local abundance, extinction rate, niche breadth, and the latitudinal gradient in species richness and in geographic range size often interact with each other, and a simple positive or negative relation cannot describe their actual relationship. (iiii) The theoretical explanation for the abundance-geographic range relationship, Rapoport′s rule, and the latitudinal gradient in species richness is one of the most controversial questions in recent biogeography.

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