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isolationisolation (fr.); Isolation (ger.)

  • 1) The limitation or prevention of interbreeding between groups of plants or animals by geographical, ecological, seasonal, or other factors, leading to the development of new species or varieties. (OED)
    Breeds […] may possibly be sometimes formed by accidental isolation in a state of nature
    Blyth, E. (1835). An attempt to classify the “varieties” of animals. Mag. Nat. Hist. 8, 40-53: 45.
    M. Mirbel has similarly had occasion to remark different instances of isolation […] ›Mountainous countries‹, he says, ›possess many species of limited or solitary habitats, which confine themselves to the heights, and are never found on the plains
    Webb, P.B. & Berthelot, S. (1836). Histoire naturelle des Iles Canaries (engl.: Vegetation of the Canary Islands. In: Hooker, W.J. (ed). Companion to the Botanical Magazine 1, 332-344: 342).
    If species made by isolation, then their distribution (after physical changes) would be in rays – from certain spots
    Darwin, C. (1837). Notebook B: 155 (

    Isolation […] is an important element in the process of natural selection

    Darwin, C. (1859). On the Origin of Species: 104.


    the degree of differentiation within a species is directly proportional to the degree of isolation of its separate parts

    Četverikov, S.S. (1961). On certain aspects of the evolutionary process from the standpoint of modern genetics. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 105, 167-95): 180.

  • 2) The lonely position of a taxonomical group in the system of animals. (HWB)
    l’isolation plus ou moins remarquable de beaucoup d’espèces, de certains genres et même de quelques petites familles
    Lamarck, J.-B. de (1801). Système des animaux sans vertèbres: 17; cf. 28.