Biogeography is the study of the distribution of biological organisms. The scale of analysis ranges from very small micro-topography regimes to continental dimensions. Fundamental concepts in this field of study are the nature of barrier formation and response of species to their patterns of travel and migration; in particular, the presence of rivers, mountain ranges, deserts and other natural boundaries are examples of large scale barriers. Besides such major landform barriers there are soil, topographic and meteorological factors that influence the distribution of each species. In the case of smaller scale regimes that are applicable for some bacteria or limited range plant species, there are often very restricted niches; for example, certain bacteriaextremophiles may be limited to such localized features as small geyser pools, and some rare plants may have a single extant colony defined specialized soils such as serpentine and narrow climatic zone. Inherent in the concept of biogeography are the processes of speciation, extinction, dispersal and migration.
Chile has eight ecoregions that occur entirely or partly within its borders on the mainland and three ecorgions offshore:
Spinner dolphinLast Updated on 2014-04-17 17:28:05The Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris), a marine mammal in the family of oceanic dolphins, gets its name from the spinning behavior it shows when it leaps out of the water. This cetacean species lives in schools showing a dominance hierarchy and displays complex interactions among individuals. S. longirostris also engages in intricate echolocation underwater acoustics. Spinner dolphins attract tourists for dolphin watching. The species is of special interest for scientific investigation because of its remarkable capacity to learn.
Species:--------Stenella longirostris... More »
Southwest Borneo freshwater swamp forestsLast Updated on 2014-04-17 14:55:54The Southwest Borneo freshwater swamp forests can range in species diversity from numbers rivaling those of neighboring lowland rainforests to single-species forest stands of the Mallotus tree.
Many of the animals that use lowland rain forest also use freshwater swamp forest, including all monkey and ape species. Like all other freshwater swamps found in the Indo-Pacific region, this ecoregion has been intensively converted to agricultural and plantation lands.
Further protection is urgently needed to stem the loss of this ecoregion's native vegetation.
This ecoregion is made up of the freshwater swamp forests in Kalimantan. These forests are located just inland from the southwestern coast, with a few small areas towards the center of the island. They are associated with coastal swamps, inland lakes, and low-lying river basins. Based on the Köppen climate zone system,... More »
Peninsular Malaysian lowland rainforestsLast Updated on 2014-04-17 14:22:36The Peninsular Malaysian lowland rainforests ecoregion, with 195 mammal species, has the second most mammal species in the Indo-Pacific, behind the Borneo lowland rainforests. Yet most of the wide-ranging or top carnivore species lead a tenuous existence within these biologically noteworthy forests. The tiger, Asian elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros, Malayan tapir, gaur, and clouded leopard all fall into this category. As in many other tropical forests in this region, habitat loss and poaching are the two primary reasons for the decline in these and other species.
This ecoregion is comprised of the lowland moist forests of Peninsular Malaysia and the extreme southern part of Thailand. There are no clear seasons in peninsular Malaysia, and rainfall is plentiful year-round. Two monsoons punctuate the region. From October to March a northeastern monsoon brings extra rain to the eastern... More »
Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp forestsLast Updated on 2014-04-17 14:18:52
The Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp forests, though not as diverse in species as the surrounding lowland rainforests, are home to many of Malaysia's endangered species. Asian elephants, Sumatran rhinoceros, tigers, clouded leopards, and Malayan tapir are examples of threatened species that inhabit these rapidly shrinking forests.
This ecoregion represents the disjunct peat swamp forests in Peninsular Malaysia and southern Thailand. Based on the Köppen climate zone system, this ecoregion falls in the tropical wet climate zone.
The peat swamp forests of peninsular Malaysia have edaphic and vegetative characteristics similar to those in Sumatra and Borneo. The soil is infertile and primarily organic matter. Peat deposits found behind mangroves are recent in origin. They are formed when rivers drain into the inland edge of a mangrove and trap the sediments within their... More »
Peninsular Malaysian montane rainforestsLast Updated on 2014-04-17 14:10:17
The Peninsular Malaysian montane rainforests are one of the last refuges for several of Asia's large characteristic species. These forests still support tigers, Asian elephants, gaur, tapirs, Sumatran rhinoceros, and the spectacular and endemic crested argus. Taman Negara Nature Reserve in central Peninsular Malaysia is one of the largest reserves within the Indo-Pacific region and provides a critical montane refuge and linkage area to the lowland forests.
This ecoregion is made up of the montane moist forests in Peninsular Malaysia and southernmost Thailand. There are no clear seasons in Peninsular Malaysia, and rainfall is plentiful year-around. Two monsoons inundate the region. From October to March a northeastern monsoon brings extra rain to the eastern side of Peninsular Malaysia. The southwest monsoon, which is more powerful, bathes the western side of peninsular... More »
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