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[vahy-kair-ee-uh ns, vi-] /vaɪˈkɛər i əns, vɪ-/
noun, Biology
the geographical separation and isolation of a subpopulation, resulting in the original population's differentiation as a new variety or species.
Also called vicariance biogeography.
Related forms
vicariant, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for vicariant


/vɪˈkɛərɪənt, vaɪ-/
any of several closely related species, races, etc, each of which exists in a separate geographical area: assumed to have originated from a single population that became dispersed by geological events
Derived Forms
vicariance, noun
Word Origin
C20: from Latin vicārius (see vicar) + -ant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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vicariant in Science
  (vī-kâr'ē-əns, vĭ-)   
The separation or division of a group of organisms by a geographic barrier, such as a mountain or a body of water, resulting in differentiation of the original group into new varieties or species. See also speciation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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