Throughout history, insights into understanding the diversity of life forms have come from placing natural phenomena within an explicit geographic context. “Biological diversity and the geography of nature” maps the discoveries of early explorers in the field, from the Age of Enlightenment to the present day. Where do distinct species occur? How and why do they vary from place to place? Buffon’s Law identified three fundamental processes of biological diversity: evolution, dispersal (or immigration), and extinction. Biological processes are complex—not only because they arise from a variety of factors and processes including evolution, but because the species themselves interact to influence each of the fundamental processes.

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