NCEAS Project 12352

An interdisciplinary approach to advancing landscape genetics

  • Michael S. Rosenberg
  • Bryan K. Epperson
  • Andrew T. Storfer

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group18th—22nd March 2009Participant List  
Working Group19th—23rd October 2009Participant List  
Working Group19th—23rd July 2010Participant List  
Working Group19th—22nd February 2011Participant List  

Landscape genetics is the intersection of landscape ecology with population genetics. While spatial analytical methods have been applied to genetic data for three decades, advances in high-throughput collection of genetic data combined with increased availability of GIS-based landscape data have outpaced advances in statistical methods. Classical population genetic measures (e.g., Fst and Nei’s D) are aspatial in nature and most often applied to allele frequencies from limited numbers of molecular markers. Today we are capable of generating hundreds of markers from distinct individuals (e.g., genome-wide SNP assays or AFLP loci). A distinct benefit of landscape genetics is that significantly more genetic variation can be explained by spatially-explicit analyses than traditional aspatial analyses. As such, landscape genetics holds great promise for ecological genetics research, such as explaining processes that affect the distribution of neutral or adaptive genetic variation, revealing cryptic barriers to dispersal, and developing conservation programs focused on landscape features that facilitate connectivity among populations. This working group will bring together landscape ecologists and spatial analysts with population geneticists to (1) examine the applicability of historic and currently used spatial tools for estimating spatial genetic structure with the various types of data generated in modern population genetics studies; (2) examine the statistical rigor of each combination of statistic and data type to test hypotheses about underlying spatial-temporal processes; (3) adapt existing and invent new methods for analyzing modern genomic data in a spatial context; and (4) develop forums for communicating with practicing ecological and evolutionary geneticists, landscape ecologists, spatial statisticians and conservation biologists.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Anderson, Corey; Epperson, Bryan K.; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Holderegger, Rolf; James, Patrick M.; Rosenberg, Michael S.; Scribner, Kim T.; Spear, Stephen. 2010. Considering spatial and temporal scale in landscape-genetic studies of gene flow. Molecular Ecology. Vol: 19(17). Pages 3565-3575.
Journal Article Epperson, Bryan K. 2010. Spatial correlations at different spatial scales are themselves highly correlated in isolation by distance processes. Molecular Ecology Resources. Vol: 10. Pages 845-853.
Journal Article Epperson, Bryan K.; McRae, Brad H.; Scribner, Kim T.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Rosenberg, Michael S.; Fortin, Marie-Josée; James, Patrick M.; Murphy, Melanie A.; Manel, Stephanie; Legendre, Pierre; Dale, Mark. 2010. Utility of computer simulations in landscape genetics. Molecular Ecology. Vol: 19(17). Pages 3549–3564.
Journal Article Legendre, Pierre; Fortin, Marie-Josée. 2010. Comparison of the Mantel test and alternative approaches for detecting complex multivariate relationships in the spatial analysis of genetic data. Molecular Ecology Resources. Vol: 10. Pages 831-844. (Online version)
Journal Article Manel, Stephanie; Poncet, Benedicte N.; Legendre, Pierre; Gugerli, Felix; Holderegger, Rolf. 2010. Common factors drive adaptive genetic variation at different spatial scales in Arabis alpina. Molecular Ecology. Vol: 19(17). Pages 3824-3835. (Online version)
Journal Article Manel, Stephanie; Joost, Stephane; Epperson, Bryan K.; Holderegger, Rolf; Storfer, Andrew T.; Rosenberg, Michael S.; Scribner, Kim T.; Bonin, Aurelie; Fortin, Marie-Josée. 2010. Perspectives on the use of landscape genetics to detect genetic adaptive variation in the field. Molecular Ecology. Vol: 19(17). Pages 3760-3772.
Journal Article Rico, Yessica; Juergen Boehmer, Hans; Wagner, Helene H. 2012. Determinants of actual functional connectivity for calcareous grassland communities linked by rotational sheep grazing. Landscape Ecology. Vol: 27(2). Pages 199-209. (Online version)
Journal Article Spear, Stephen; Balkenhol, Niko; Fortin, Marie-Josée; McRae, Brad H.; Scribner, Kim T. 2010. Use of resistance surfaces for landscape genetic studies: Considerations for parameterization and analysis. Molecular Ecology. Vol: 19. Pages 3576-3591.
Journal Article Storfer, Andrew T.; Murphy, Melanie A.; Spear, Stephen; Holderegger, Rolf; Waits, Lisette. 2010. Landscape genetics: Where are we now? . Molecular Ecology. Vol: 19(17). Pages 3496-3514.