PATTERNS IN THE GEOGRAPHICAL RANGES OF SPECIES
Article first published online: 21 JAN 2008
Volume 65, Issue 2, pages 105–129, May 1990
How to Cite
GASTON, K. J. (1990), PATTERNS IN THE GEOGRAPHICAL RANGES OF SPECIES. Biological Reviews, 65: 105–129. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-185X.1990.tb01185.x
- Issue published online: 21 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 21 JAN 2008
- Received 29 March, revised 3 October, accepted 20 November 1989
1. A growing number of studies have documented patterns in species geographic ranges relevant to the study of community structure. These include patterns in the frequency of geographic ranges of different sizes, and in the interaction of range sizes with population abundances and variabilities, body sizes, trophic characteristics and extinction probabilities.
2. Agreement between hypothesized and observed relationships is reasonably good, but we do not know how general the patterns are. Analysis of patterns has focused upon a few taxonomic groups, a bias largely resulting from a lack of information on the geographic distributions of most taxa.
3. Many of the patterns are interrelated, and although theoretical bases to all the patterns can be suggested, it is possible that some are artifacts.
4. Taylor power plots give us a means of making predictions about population behaviour as it pertains to geographic ranges. Some of these predictions suggest that previous conceptions of such interactions have been too narrow, but empirical analyses of these patterns will be hampered by the difficulty of measuring population variability.
5. In general, our knowledge of the structure, and spatial and temporal behaviour, of species geographic ranges remains poor.