A major goal in the biodiversity sciences is to understand spatial and temporal patterns and processes of biotic diversity across hierarchical levels, from genetic diversity to ecosystems. This has become particularly critical in the face of rapid environmental and climate change, the threat posed by biological invasions as well as biodiversity loss.
Traditional views that species’ ranges are static have repeatedly been challenged and are now obsolete. Rather, ranges are dynamic and shifts are well documented. This acceptance holds important implications for understanding evolutionary processes such as adaptation, dispersal and speciation.