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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

versión On-line ISSN 2007-8706


MORRONE, Juan J.. Toward a synthesis of Mexican biogeography. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2005, vol.76, n.2, pp. 207-252. ISSN 2007-8706.

Recognition of biotic components constitutes the first step toward a synthetic biogeographic theory. In Mexico we can characterize three main biotic components, each one having a particular combination of different biotic elements. The Nearctic component (Nearctic region) includes the arid subtropical areas in the north of the country, in the Californian, Baja Californian, Sonoran, Mexican Plateau and Tamaulipan biogeographic provinces. This component is dominated by the original element (Old Northern or Paleoamerican), together with one of more recent dispersal (Nearctic) and a third of ancient Neotropical origin. Vicariant events associated with the biotic evolution of the Nearctic component are related to the uplift of the Sierra Madre Occidental, which separated the Chihuahuan desert from the Sonoran and Mojave deserts; and the expansion of the Sea of Cortes, separating the Peninsula of Baja California from the continental mainland. The Transitional component (Mexican Transition Zone) includes basically montane areas in central Mexico, which are assigned to the Sierra Madre Oriental, Sierra Madre Occidental, Transmexican Volcanic Belt, Balsas basin and Sierra Madre del Sur biogeographic provinces. In this component, the Paleoamerican, Nearctic, Tropical Mesoamerican and Montane Mesoamerican elements coexist. Vicariant events associated with the biotic evolution of the Transitional component are the development of the Sierras Madre and the volcanism of the Transmexican Volcanic Belt. The Neotropical component (Neotropical region) includes humid and subhumid tropical areas of southern Mexico, assigned to the Mexican Pacific Coast, Mexican Gulf, Chiapas and Yucatan Peninsula biogeographic provinces. In it the Tropical Mesoamerican element predominates, but Nearctic and Antillean elements are also present. Vicariant events associated with the biotic evolution of the Neotropical component are related to the development of the isthmuses of Tehuantepec and Panama, and the inundation of the lowlands of Nicaragua and the Yucatan Peninsula.

Palabras llave : biogeography; evolution; Nearctic; Neotropics.

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