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The island rule and a research agenda for studying ecogeographical patterns

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Abstract

We are currently experiencing a resurgence of interest in ecogeographical rules, which describe general trends in morphology and related traits along geographical gradients. In order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the generality and underlying causal mechanisms for these patterns, we recommend a new, more integrated research agenda. In particular, we recommend studies that simultaneously consider different clines in morphology, geographical ranges and diversity as intricately related phenomena; all being ecological, evolutionary and biogeographical responses of organisms to selection regimes that vary non-randomly over space and time, and among species with different ecological and evolutionary histories.
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Keywords: Bergmann's rule; biogeography; body size; ecogeographical rules; invasive species; island biogeography; island rule; latitudinal gradients; macroecology

Document Type: Guest Editorial

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 2: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154 3: Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA

Publication date: 01 September 2006

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