The division of a widespread group of organisms by a geographic barrier, such as a mountain range or a body of water, often resulting in the evolution of related species on either side of the barrier.
Origin of vicarianceLatin vicarius, substitute (since after a vicariant speciation event, one species can be thought of as “substituting for” a related species on the other side of the geographic barrier); see vicarious + –ance.
- (biology) The separation of a group of organisms by a geographic barrier, resulting in differentiation of the original group into new varieties or species
- (geology) The geological event which produces such a barrier (volcano, earthquake, etc)
- (psychology, colloquial) The act of experiencing an event by proxy through an empathic link with the person who is experiencing the event firsthand.