Meaning of vicariance in English:



mass nounBiology
  • 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.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘And third, differentiation may have evolved in allopatry as a contiguous ancestral population became fragmented by vicariance.’
    • ‘If allopatric taxa are older than the barrier that separates them, vicariance is the most parsimonious explanation for their divergence; if the barrier is older, dispersal is most parsimonious.’



/vɪˈkɛːrɪəns/ /vʌɪˈkɛːrɪəns/


1950s from Latin vicarius ‘substitute’ + -ance.