Saturday, January 05, 2013

Wallace's biogeographic map updated - and there are three new realms

Three new realms have been added to an update of Wallace's biogeographic map: Panamia, Sino-Japanese and Oecania. The abstract says, "a global map of zoogeographic regions was generated by combining data on the distributions and phylogenetic relationships of 21,037 species of amphibians, birds, and mammals. 20 distinct zoogeographic regions are grouped into 11 larger realms.

Phylogenetic information provides valuable insight on historical relationships among regions, permitting the identification of evolutionarily unique regions of the world."

11 realms in new biogeographical map
“Wallace’s map still makes a lot of sense,” said Jean-Philippe Lessard, an ecologist at McGill University in Montreal who was formerly at the University of Copenhagen. “We’re not inventing anything here, we’re just implementing Wallace’s vision at an age where we have tons of DNA and more information on where species are on the planet.”
- see the article in New York Times. Article: Holt et al., 2012. An update of Wallace’s zoogeographic regions of the world. Science, 339 (6115): 74-78. DOI: 10.1126/science.1228282. Published online 20 Dec 2012.

Google Earth resource available from:

Thanks to Leong Wai for the alert.

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