Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Ecol. 2010 Sep;19(17):3549-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04678.x. Epub 2010 Jul 7.

Utility of computer simulations in landscape genetics.

Author information

1
Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. epperson@msu.edu

Abstract

Population genetics theory is primarily based on mathematical models in which spatial complexity and temporal variability are largely ignored. In contrast, the field of landscape genetics expressly focuses on how population genetic processes are affected by complex spatial and temporal environmental heterogeneity. It is spatially explicit and relates patterns to processes by combining complex and realistic life histories, behaviours, landscape features and genetic data. Central to landscape genetics is the connection of spatial patterns of genetic variation to the usually highly stochastic space-time processes that create them over both historical and contemporary time periods. The field should benefit from a shift to computer simulation approaches, which enable incorporation of demographic and environmental stochasticity. A key role of simulations is to show how demographic processes such as dispersal or reproduction interact with landscape features to affect probability of site occupancy, population size, and gene flow, which in turn determine spatial genetic structure. Simulations could also be used to compare various statistical methods and determine which have correct type I error or the highest statistical power to correctly identify spatio-temporal and environmental effects. Simulations may also help in evaluating how specific spatial metrics may be used to project future genetic trends. This article summarizes some of the fundamental aspects of spatial-temporal population genetic processes. It discusses the potential use of simulations to determine how various spatial metrics can be rigorously employed to identify features of interest, including contrasting locus-specific spatial patterns due to micro-scale environmental selection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center