Towards an integrated theory of Biogeography

By Kevin Cazelles, Nicolas Mouquet, David Mouillot and Dominique Gravel

Debates are going on the extent to which ecological interactions spread over spatial scales. The absence of a clear answer to this particular problem casts doubts on the very popular Species...

Abiotic and biotic constraints across reptile and amphibian ranges


By Heather R. Cunningham


Does the relative strength of the abiotic and biotic factors limiting species distributions differ at poleward and equatorward boundaries?


It is well-known that...

Corals in a marginal environment rely on establishment over dispersal

Brooding species Stylophora pistillata. Photo credit Erika Woolsey.


By Erika Woolsey and Sally Keith

Lord Howe Island (31.5°S) is the southernmost coral reef in the world, sitting 1000 km south of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR), and...

Functional structure and specialization in three tropical plant–hummingbird interaction networks across an elevational gradient in Costa Rica


 By María Alejandra Maglianesi 

A primary aim of community ecology is to identify the processes that govern multispecies assemblages across environmental gradients. Ecological networks comprising interacting species of plants and pollinators are particularly...

Slicing up gridded data with geoknife

Figure 1: geoknife output from processing the PRISM dataset (Daly et al. 1994) according to ecoregion. Mean monthly precipitation for the month of May is shown here.

By Jordan Read


Downloading huge datasets for desktop processing can eat network...

When does competition matter at the large scales studied by biogeographers?

Editor's choice article for November 2015

By William Godsoe

Competition occurs when different living things harm one another. It is common in nature. As one example, the grass in my lawn becomes less dense when weeds run amok. But it isn’t clear...

Megafauna and ecosystem functions: learning from the giants

By Yadvinder Mahli

We live in the shadows of lost giants. Until relatively recently almost every major vegetated land area on Earth possessed an abundance of large animals that we now only associate with African game parks. Mesmerizing early art shows how much these...

Scared of a ghost: Why Newfoundland caribou migrate despite the disappearance of their historic predator

By Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau 


Migration in animals is one of the most spectacular biological phenomena on the planet. Theory predicts that, to evolve, the benefits of migration (in terms of lifetime reproductive success) should outweigh the costs of moving...

Wind dispersal results in a gradient of dispersal limitation and environmental match among discrete aquatic habitats

by Zsófia Horváth, Csaba F. Vad, Robert Ptacnik


The Seewinkel region lies on the bordering lowland area between eastern Austria and western Hungary. It has sodic soil and several extremely shallow (<1 m) aquatic habitats, so-called soda pans were formed in...

The introductions of non-native fish species affect the isotopic structure of recipient communities across the globe

by Julien Cucherousset


Multiple anthropogenic pressures including the widespread introduction of non-native species threaten biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Non-native species have been reported to induce ecological impacts...

Faster (and exact) phylogenetic diversity computations in R

By Constantinos Tsirogiannis and Brody Sandel

Some species assemblages represent a narrow section of the tree of life, while others include a broader swath. This difference can be quantified with phylogenetic diversity measures, which describe the diversity of an...

What determines Komodo dragon survival?

A Komodo dragon walks on the beach in Komodo National Park, Indonesia. (Photograph by Achmad Ariefiandy).


By Tim Jessop, Deni Purwandana, Achmad Ariefiandy and Claudio Ciofi.


Across islands, animals may experience marked local environmental...

There is strength in diversity!

Among individual variation exemplified by alternative colour morphs of the pygmy grasshopper Tetrix subulata (photograph by Anders Forsman).


by Anders Forsman and Lena Wennersten

A better understanding of the causes and consequences of the...

Modelling unicorns to improve our capacity to accurately model real species

Modelled distribution of a unicorn whose dispersal was limited to Great Britain and Ireland. Illustration SNGT.

In 1990, Stuart H. Hurlbert analysed the “Spatial Distribution of...

Geographical distribution, climatic variability and thermo-tolerance of Chagas disease vectors

A fifth-instar nymph of the blood-sucking bug Triatoma infestans placed inside the respirometry chamber (photograph by Diana Martinez Llaser).

by Gerardo J. de la Vega and Pablo E. Schilman

Several climate-based hypotheses have been proposed to...

Do ecological contrasts explain the effectiveness of conservation management?

Photo of common linnet (Linaria cannabina) photographed at Sallandse Heuvelrug, the Netherlands by J. Swiebe (

by Martijn Hammers

Some conservation programs are more successful than others, but we still have little understanding why...

How can different species distribution models be combined?

Favourability models combining different factors in mainland Spain of four representative species: Chioglossa lusitanica, Iberolacerta cyreni, Pterocles orientalis, and Galemys pyrenaicus (favourability ranges from 0 to 1). Five alternative methodological...

Stressful climate reduces species richness, but not the diversity of tree strategies

Figure 1. Shifts in tree strategies along precipitation and temperature gradient in western USA. From left to right: Saguaro cacti (Carnegiea gigantea) in Arizona desert; cottonwoods (Populus fremontii) in Escalante (Utah);  redwoods (Sequoia...

What drives treeline elevation on islands?

Global distribution of oceanic island treelines (red), continental island treelines (blue) vs mainland treelines (grey). While the mainland treelines are characterized by a subtropical double-hump, island treelines produce a single hump in the tropics and are substantially...

Climate change and the lasting legacy of old vegetation plots

Figure 1. The eastern flank of Mont St-Joseph, in Parc national du Mont Mégantic, Québec. This photo was taken in spring, while deciduous trees (mostly sugar maple) were just leafing out (light green at low elevation). The dark green at high elevation is boreal forest,...


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