By Beatrice Franklin,2014-08-11 06:53
7 views 0

     Glossary of biogeographic terms




    R.K. Johnson, B.J. Zahuranec*, D. Boltovskoy** and

    A.C. Pierrot-Bults***

     formerly Grice Marine Laboratory University of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29412 USA

     Sadly Bob Johnson died before this Glossary was finished

    * U. S. Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA 22217, USA

    ** Univerdidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    *** Zoological Museum Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam,The Netherlands

     This glossary of terms applicable to Pelagic Biogeography has been prepared as part of the work of SCOR Working Group 93, "Pelagic Biogeography." The decision to prepare such a glossary was made at the first meeting of the Working Group at Amsterdam, 6 - 8 November, 1990. The need to more clearly communicate and utilize common concepts and terminology was in fact evident at the First International Conference on Pelagic Biogeography, where it was not clear that workers were using such essential terms as “biogeography” to convey the same meaning. This Glossary is one attempt by Working Group 93 to address that problem.

     The terms are given in alphabetical order in English with a Spanish translation of the term only when the term and/or the spelling is different. An alphabetical list of Spanish terms is given at the end of this document. The descriptions are given only in English. This list can thus also serve as a dictionary for Spanish speaking people to find the right term in English.

     In preparation of this Glossary we have cast our net broadly and include terms applicable in aquatic biogeography sensu lato, including freshwater and

    coastal ecosystems.

     Please note the following abbreviations, used widely:

    cf confer: compare with definitions of terms that follow;

    eg exempli gratia for example;

    qv quod vide: definition for indicated (preceding) term will extend and clarify

     the present definition;

    syn synonym


     Glossary of biogeographic terms

     We have not attempted to list names, much less diagnoses, for the taxonomic groups that are the principal players in pelagic biogeography nor the proper names of pelagic biogeographic regions or provinces as used by various authors. To have done so would have greatly increased the size of the Glossary, we believe to the detriment of its usefulness.

     Every term we list can be found in use in the literature and defined elsewhere. We have invented nothing, save our own interpretation. The usefulness, if any, of this work is our deliberate effort to bring together terms from what are in fact connected but commonly disparate disciplinary areas - biological oceanography, phylogeny, ecology, physiology, ichthyology, evolutionary biology, physical oceanography, chemical oceanography, biogeography, meteorology, and others. We thank our colleagues for their help in improving this work. The choices and omissions, deliberate or not, as well as the errors, are our own.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I

    choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

Lewis Carroll (183298), English author, mathematician. Through the Looking-Glass, ch. 6 (1872).


     Glossary of biogeographic terms


abiotic factors

    factores abióticos

    (1) Physical or chemical parameters "forcing" (cf forcing functions) distribution patterns.

    (2) Nonliving forces or situations controlling or influencing the dynamics of living systems.



    Ecology: A measure of population density, the number, mass or weight of organisms present in a defined area or volume ( cf standing crop / standing stock; P/B ratio).



     (1) Pertaining to the zone of modal ocean basin depth, below 2000 m, lying seaward to and deeper than the bathyal (qv) zone.

    (2) Encompassing the ocean floor at depths between 2 and 6 km.

abyssal circulation

    circulación abisal

    Applies to large-scale oceanic water movement, density-driven, at depths between 2 and 6 km.



    A subdivision of the oceanic benthic environment at depths between 2 and 6 km.



    A subdivision of the oceanic pelagic environment occupying the strata between 2 and 6 km.

accepted name

    nombre aceptado

    Taxonomy: A name adopted by an author as the correct name for a taxon.

accidental species

    especie accidental

    Rare species in a community ( cf Braun-Blanquet classification ), either chance invaders from another community or relicts from a previous community (cf exclusive, indifferent,

    preferential, or selective species).



    Response of an animal that enables it to tolerate a change in a single factor in its environment

    (eg temperature). (cf acclimitization).


    aclimatación transitoria

    A reversible adaptive response that enables an organism to tolerate environmental change (eg seasonal climatic change).


     Glossary of biogeographic terms


    Of or pertaining to littoral rocky shores as habitat.

action spectrum

    espectro de acción

    Graphic depiction of the efficiency of different wave lengths of light in promoting a given photoresponse (eg in photosynthesis or phototropism).

active pool

    existencia activa

    A component of a biogeochemical (qv) cycle in which the nutrient or active substance

    exchanges rapidly between the biotic and abiotic components - usually smaller or much smaller than the reservoir pool (qv).



    (1) The condition of showing fitness (qv) for a particular environment, as applied to the

    characteristics of a structure, function, or entire organism.

    (2) The process by which fitness is acquired.

adaptive peaks and valleys

    valles y picos adaptativos

    Symbolic contour map showing relative Darwinian fitness or adaptive value of genotypic characters or characteristics, represented by adaptive peaks (high fitness) and valleys (low fitness).

adaptive radiation

    radiación adaptativa

    (1) Evolutionary divergence of members of a single phyletic line into a series of rather different niches or adaptive zones.

    (2) A burst of evolution with rapid divergence from a single ancestral form resulting in exploitation of an array of habitats (cf tachytelic, punctuated equilibria).

adaptive zone

    zona adaptativa

    Comprises the "living space" of a taxon in the associated environmental regime or regimes, habitat or niche. The adaptive specialization that fits the taxon to the given environmental circumstances may be broad or narrow (eg stenophagy vs omnivory).

adjacently sympatric

    simpátrico adyacente

    Of or pertaining to those aspects of a parapatric (qv) speciation event whereby the daughter

    species are minimally isolated geographically.


    Taxonomy: The form of a name which can be validly published and the use of a name in accordance with provisions of the applicable international code, such as the ICZN (qv) for



     Glossary of biogeographic terms



    Closely applied to; growing on; attached along entire length.



    (1) Mass motion in the atmosphere or ocean. In the ocean, the transport of water due to wind forcing or density driven circulation.

    (2) The transport of organisms or materials by large-scale water movement. (cf upwelling, convection).

affinity index

    índice de afinidad

    Measure of the relative similarity of the composition of two samples. Reciprocal affinity is a measure of distance.

age class

    clase de edad

    A category comprising individuals of a given age within a population; a cohort.

age-specific death rate

    tasa de mortalidad específica

    The death rate for a given age class in a population calculated as the number dying in age class

    x divided by the number that attain age class x; designated by l.