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vicariance Syllabification: vi·car·i·ance
Pronunciation: /vīˈke(ə)rēəns/ /vi-/

Definition of vicariance in English:


The geographical separation of a population, typically by a physical barrier such as a mountain range or river, resulting in a pair of closely related species.
Example sentences
  • The biogeographic patterns of vicariance and range expansion may also provide insight to the mechanics of this extinction event.
  • Phylogenetic biogeography resolved patterns of both vicariance and geodispersal and revealed that range expansions were more abundant than range contractions in Devonian phyllocarids.
  • It also can be used to identify both episodes of vicariance and congruent range expansion (geo-dispersal) that allow biogeographic patterns to be considered in the context of tectonic and climatic change.


1950s: from Latin vicarius 'substitute' + -ance.

Definition of vicariance in:
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