Are Species’ Geographic Ranges Mainly Determined by Climate?

Johnathan Rich
Aim It is commonly asserted that climate presents the primary constraint on species’ geographic distributions, and therefore, that species' ranges shift in response to changing climate given their specific climatic tolerances. However, supporting evidence is surprisingly inconsistent. Alternatively, spatially structured processes (e.g., dispersal) could more strongly determine species’ geographic distributions. Is climate the primary determinant of species’ geographic distributions, or might non-climatic, spatial processes constitute a stronger influence, such that the effect of climate is...
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