Contributions to Zoology, 77 (2) - 2008Frederick R. Schram: Does biogeography have a future in a globalized world with globalized faunas?

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The study of biogeography was once a pillar of evolution science. Both Darwin and especially Wallace found great inspiration from the consideration of animal distributions. However, what is to happen to this discipline in a time of global trade, mass movement of people and goods, and the resulting globalization of the planet’s biota? Can we still hope to delve into the fine points of past geography as it affected animal and plant evolution? Maybe we can, but only with careful study of life forms that suffer minimal affects – at present – from globalization, viz., marginal faunas of quite inaccessible environments. Two examples taken from syncarid crustaceans illustrate this point. Bathynellacea provide insight into ancient patterns of distribution and possible modes of evolution of that group. Modern Anaspididae yield some surprising information concerning the timing of evolutionary events.