Applications of Landscape Genetics to Study the Effect of Varying Landscapes and Environmental Challenges in Plant Populations

  • Akshay Nag
  • Anshu Alok
  • Kashmir SinghEmail author
Part of the Energy, Environment, and Sustainability book series (ENENSU)


Evolutionary processes like adaptation, dispersal and genetic drift play an important role in shaping a geographical habitat of the organisms and species. To study these processes in a geographical context is fundamental for the biogeographical studies. Nevertheless, the introduction of new molecular methods allowed a stronger assessment of the associations between the patterns of genetic diversity between populations and the micro-evolutionary processes governing them. Traditionally the use of molecular methods has been applied to study the evolutionary biology, phylogenetics and population structure of the plant species to formulate conservation programs for declining populations and these approaches are collectively referred to as Molecular Ecology. Recently a more robust approach, which has emerged as an altogether separate discipline known as Landscape Genetics has been used for studying the effects of changing environment due to human intervention, habitat fragmentation and effect of varying landscapes. This approach takes help from the disciplines of Molecular Ecology, Population Genetics and Biogeography, aided by the recent advances in simulation and remote sensing technology. Landscape genetics has recently evolved as a discipline, through which, we can incorporate the effect of local habitats and connectivity of the landscapes to analysis of gene flow. It also allows us to have a better understanding of local adaptation processes by helping to develop novel hypothesis on impending selection forces. It plays ever more significant role in species conservation and management studies. Recent advances in molecular tools and statistic has also aided researchers to device more precise strategies for these type of studies. The improvements in sequencing technologies have profoundly enhanced our ability to study genetic variation in wild species, which has opened up new and unparalleled opportunities for genetic analysis in conservation biology. In this chapter we will have an insight on the basic aspects of this discipline, tools and methods used in it and the advent of molecular biology techniques, which serve as the backbone of the research projects in this discipline.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

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