Large and small distribution areas

Jan Bosselaers dochterland at PANDORA.BE
Fri Sep 6 08:54:35 CDT 2002

Dear all,

I apologise for my limited experience with biogeography, but there is a
question which haunts me for some time and which I would like to submit
to the list.
I have the impression that in "megadiverse" groups, such as spiders
(40,000 known species), a large proportion of the known species has
rather limited distribution areas and a rather smaller number of species
has worldwide distribution. On the other hand, in some small groups,
such as Myxomycetes (1000 species) or Tardigrades (600 species) a large
proportion of the known species seem to have a worldwide or at least
very large distribution area.
My questions:
1) Is this true?
2) Is it a general phenomenon?
3) If so, why?

Best regards,

Dr. Jan Bosselaers
"Dochterland", R. novarumlaan 2
B-2340 Beerse, Belgium               tel / fax 32-14-615896
home: dochterland at  /  hortipes at
work: jbossela at
web: or

"You know I used to lose my mind, but now I'm old, now I'm free...
I see waves break in foams on my horizons, I'm shining..." The Chemical

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