Formerly: geographic ecology: concerned with large-scale patterns and processes. Distribution: latitudinal patterns of spp. diversity, long-term historical and regional influences, ex. Birds in south americas is higher than na. Increase moving towards equator and decrease going away: ex. Vascular plants in western hemisphere, decreases as you move away from equator: exception: ichneumonid wasps have higher number at 45 n, marine mammals have peak around 30-40 latitude (mid latitude), they don"t like warmer water. Hypotheses about question above grouped as: time since perturbation (since last major event, e. g. Glaciation: productivity (e. g. more energy to divide, environmental heterogeneity (more niches) Favourableness (no extreme environments: niche breadth and interspecific interactions. Favour higher diversification/speciation, higher colonization/immigration and lower extinction/emigration rates: not true for all tropical species, new world birds and mammals have lower extinction rates, but also lower speciation rates at tropics. Why high levels of diversification of tropics (latitudinal gradients): species richness vs area, tropics have much larger area than poles, e. g.