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Biogeographical Barriers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2017

Carl W. Stock*
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0338 USA
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Biogeographical barriers serve to limit the geographic range of a species, be it in the ocean or on land. Land barriers to marine migration and marine barriers to land migration are the most easily determined from the geological record; however, temperature can be invoked in both situations. Physiographic features such as mountain ranges can restrict land organisms, and shallow marine organisms may not be able to cross oceans of great depth. Barriers can allow the passage of organisms by three means, in order of greater restriction to migration: 1) corridors; 2) filters; and 3) sweepstakes routes. Examples from the fossil record and recent are given of barriers to marine and continental organisms and their means of overcoming those barriers.

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Copyright © 2005 by the Paleontological Society 

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