Cosmopolitan distribution

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Orcinus orca and its range

In biogeography, a taxon is said to have a cosmopolitan distribution if its range extends across all or most of the world in appropriate habitats. For instance, the killer whale has a cosmopolitan distribution, extending over most of the world's oceans. Copidosoma floridanum serves as another example of a cosmopolitan wasp species, also distributed around the world. The term can also apply to some diseases. Other examples include humans, the lichen species Parmelia sulcata, and the mollusc genus Mytilus.[1] It may result from a broad range of environmental tolerances[2][3] or from rapid dispersal compared to the time needed for evolution.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ian F. Spellerberg & John William David Sawyer, ed. (1999). "Ecological patterns and types of species distribution". An Introduction to Applied Biogeography. Cambridge University Press. pp. 108–132. ISBN 978-0-521-45712-5. 
  2. ^ S. Kustanowich (1963). "Distribution of planktonic foraminifera in surface sediments of the south-west Pacific". New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 6 (4): 534–565. doi:10.1080/00288306.1963.10420065. 
  3. ^ D. B. Williams (1971). "The distribution of marine dinoflagellates in relation to physical and chemical conditions". In B. M. Funnell & W. R. Riedel. The Micropalaeontology of Oceans: Proceedings of the Symposium held in Cambridge from 10 to 17 September 1967 under the title 'Micropalaeontology of Marine Bottom Sediments'. Cambridge University Press. pp. 91–95. ISBN 978-0-521-18748-0. 
  4. ^ Judit Padisák (2005). "Phytoplankton". In Patrick E. O'Sullivan & Colin S. Reynolds. Limnology and Limnetic Ecology. The Lakes Handbook 1. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 251–308. ISBN 978-0-632-04797-0.