The world ocean supports a dynamic system in which living organisms undergo constant movements. Although some would appear to be sedentary, all are capable of invading new territory at some stage in their life cycle. Underlying these comparatively rapid changes is a much slower evolutionary system whereby new species are formed and spread out. Depending on their place of origin and genetic resources, some of the new species may give rise to continuing phyletic lines. At the same pace, some older species approach extinction by continuing to lose territory. Over time, this evolutionary system appears to be no less dynamic than the contemporary one. In recent years, considerable attention has been paid to the East Indies as a centre of origin for the marine tropics. While other centres of origin in the Antarctic and the North Pacific have been recognized, little attention has been paid to their external influence. Yet in the cooler waters of the oceans, they are as important to those areas as the East Indies is for the tropics. Evidence indicates that evolutionary flows from all three centres contribute to a dynamic system that extends throughout the world ocean. Each of the three centres and
Journal of Biogeography – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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