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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Spatial patterns of genetic variation reflect the way in which organisms move through the landscape, providing a means for understanding population connectivity. Landscape genetics is a nascent field that seeks to describe how landscape features such as mountains, streams and roads influence spatial-temporal processes of population genetics and the ultimate distribution of genetic variation. Whereas traditional ways of estimating population connectivity lack consideration of landscape features, landscape genetics provides the distinct benefit of facilitating tests of the influence of specific landscape variables on dispersal. As a result, landscape genetics holds great promise for ecological research and the development of conservation programs focused on landscape features that facilitate connectivity among populations. Recent advances in high-throughput collection of genetic data combined with increased availability of GIS-based landscape data have outpaced advances in statistical methods. In response to this need, we will bring together a diverse group of landscape ecologists, spatial analysts and population geneticists to: 1. examine the applicability of historic and currently used spatial tools for estimating genetic structure with modern molecular data 2. examine the statistical rigor of each combination of statistic and data to test hypotheses about underlying spatial-temporal processes 3. adapt existing and invent new methods for analyzing modern genomic data in a spatial context 4. develop forums for communicating with a broad spectrum of scientists.
Working Group Participants

Principal Investigator(s)

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

Project Dates

Start: March 18, 2009

End: February 22, 2011



Corey Anderson
Arizona State University
Michael F. Antolin
Colorado State University
Aurelie Bonin
Université Joseph Fourier
Mark Dale
University of Northern British Columbia
Bryan K. Epperson
Michigan State University
Marie-Josée Fortin
University of Toronto
Rolf Holderegger
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Research (WSL)
Patrick M. James
University of Alberta
Pierre Legendre
Université de Montréal
Stephanie Manel
Université Aix-Marseille
Jerome Mathieu
University of California, Santa Barbara
Brad H. McRae
The Nature Conservancy
Melanie A. Murphy
Colorado State University
Hugh P. Possingham
Michael S. Rosenberg
Arizona State University
Noah Rosenberg
University of Michigan
Kim T. Scribner
Michigan State University
Stephen Spear
University of Idaho
Andrew T. Storfer
Washington State University
Helene H. Wagner
University of Toronto, Mississauga
Lisette Waits
University of Idaho


  1. Journal Article / 2010

    Considering spatial and temporal scale in landscape-genetic studies of gene flow

  2. Journal Article / 2010

    Spatial correlations at different spatial scales are themselves highly correlated in isolation by distance processes

  3. Journal Article / 2010

    Utility of computer simulations in landscape genetics

  4. Journal Article / 2010

    Comparison of the Mantel test and alternative approaches for detecting complex multivariate relationships in the spatial analysis of genetic data

  5. Journal Article / 2010

    Common factors drive adaptive genetic variation at different spatial scales in Arabis alpina

  6. Journal Article / 2010

    Perspectives on the use of landscape genetics to detect genetic adaptive variation in the field

  7. Journal Article / 2012

    Determinants of actual functional connectivity for calcareous grassland communities linked by rotational sheep grazing

  8. Journal Article / 2010

    Use of resistance surfaces for landscape genetic studies: Considerations for parameterization and analysis

  9. Journal Article / 2010

    Landscape genetics: Where are we now?

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