If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Geographic Gradients in Body Size: A Clarification of Bergmann's Rule

Tim M. Blackburn, Kevin J. Gaston and Natasha Loder
Diversity and Distributions
Vol. 5, No. 4 (Jul., 1999), pp. 165-174
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2673408
Page Count: 10
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Geographic Gradients in Body Size: A Clarification of Bergmann's Rule
Preview not available

Abstract

1997 marked the sesquicentenary of the publication by Carl Bergmann of the observation that, in general, large-bodied animal species tend to live further north than their small-bodied relatives. This has been dubbed Bergmann's rule in his honour. However, more than 150 years on, we appear to be little closer to a general understanding of the rule, or even to any consensus as to whether it exists. This is due in large part to confusion about the taxonomic level at which the rule is considered to operate, and to the conflation of pattern and mechanism. In this paper, we attempt to resolve this confusion by highlighting its sources, and by providing a definition of Bergmann's rule that is practical and useful, yet that retains the essential features of its original formulation. We conclude by briefly reviewing the mechanisms proposed to explain Bergmann's rule as we define it.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
165
    165
  • Thumbnail: Page 
166
    166
  • Thumbnail: Page 
167
    167
  • Thumbnail: Page 
168
    168
  • Thumbnail: Page 
169
    169
  • Thumbnail: Page 
170
    170
  • Thumbnail: Page 
171
    171
  • Thumbnail: Page 
172
    172
  • Thumbnail: Page 
173
    173
  • Thumbnail: Page 
174
    174