What is a node?
jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Wed Dec 1 09:32:17 CST 2004
For those with a (spatial) biogeographic interest might like to read the
Heads, M.J. 2004. What is a node? Journal of Biogeography 31, 1883-1891.
I would suggest that it is essential reading for any student of
biogeography. Nodes are one of the principle elements of spatial
evolution and lack of awareness of their existence has led various
biologists to describe as "astonishing". "enigmatic", "ironic" for what
is really common place. Many biologists dealing with biogeography still
appear to be woefully unfamiliar with the most basic patterns of
biogeography, although the situation is perhaps gradually improving.
Head's paper discusses the node both in its panbiogeographic context as
well as comparing how nodes have been mis-understood by Darwinian
biogeographers. Heads notes that Mayr and Diamond (2001) had to treat
the absence of a bird species from New Britain as "mysterious". If the
choice of biogeography is between the continued generation of mysteries
in Darwinism or the synthesis provided in panbiogeography, which might
be the better pick?
Dr. John R. Grehan
Director of Science and Collections
Buffalo Museum of Science1020 Humboldt Parkway
Buffalo, NY 14211-1193
email: jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Phone: (716) 896-5200 ext 372
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