Latitudinal and longitudinal barriers in global biogeography
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Due to changes in climate and continental arrangement, plant and animal assemblages faced different dispersal barriers at different moments in Earth’s history. It is generally accepted that groups which diversified during times of Gondwanan–Laurasian separation show different distribution patterns from those of more recent origin. Here I present principal component-derived maps for two globally distributed groups, with ca 1000 species each. Gymnosperm assemblages perfectly illustrate the existence of southern and northern components, corresponding to the Gondwanan and Laurasian temperate floras at the time when angiosperms started becoming dominant in the tropics, thus imposing a latitudinal barrier. Bat (chiropteran) assemblages indicate that the major biogeographical barrier in their Cenozoic dispersal was the longitudinal separation between the Old and New World.