Standard Article

History of Biogeography

  1. Janet Browne

Published Online: 25 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0003092



How to Cite

Browne, J. 2001. History of Biogeography. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 APR 2001


Biogeography is the study of the large-scale distribution patterns of flora and fauna. Modern studies date from the nineteenth century when biologists realized that former changes in the geology and geography of the globe helped plants and animals expand or contract their range. Evolutionary ideas, and then the notion of continental drift, became key concepts.


  • continental drift;
  • dispersal;
  • ecology;
  • evolution;
  • exploration;
  • natural selection