A technique that employs relationships between organisms to reconstruct past distributions and the positions of continents, independently of geological data. Genetic and morphological characteristics reveal patterns of relationships from which former geographic distributions can be inferred. Plotting past distribution patterns identifies the location of geographic barriers responsible for the isolation of organisms and the consequent divergence of species. This allows the geographic areas to be arranged hierarchically by adding the geographic information to cladograms, producing diagrams called areagrams.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Ecology and Conservation.