Evaluating the Significance of Paleophylogeographic Species Distribution Models in Reconstructing Quaternary Range-Shifts of Nearctic Chelonians
Relationships between fundamental niches, realized niches, potential niches and geographic distributions as (a) a Venn diagram (after , ); (b) in climatic niche space (E-space); and (c) in geographic space (G-space).
A species' realized niche (R) is the intersection of its fundamental niche (F), its accessible climate or territory (A), and the climate and territory not barred by biotic interactions (B). Its potential niche (P) is the subset of the fundamental niche for which there is available climate (A), and its potential distribution is the territory with climate tolerable to the species. (F ∩ P) is the range of climate or geography that is climatically tolerable to a species but which is not accessible because of the lack of climate availability (E-space) or geographic barriers (G-space). A fossil may occur in E-space within the species' potential distribution (1), outside the range of available paleoclimate (2), or in paleoclimates which are available but actually not suitable (3). See text for details.