Landscape Genomics: Understanding Relationships Between Environmental Heterogeneity and Genomic Characteristics of Populations

Part of the Population Genomics book series (POGE)


Landscape genomics is a rapidly advancing research field that combines population genomics, landscape ecology, and spatial analytical techniques to explicitly quantify the effects of environmental heterogeneity on neutral and adaptive genetic variation and underlying processes. Landscape genomics has tremendous potential for addressing fundamental and applied research questions in various research fields, including ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. However, the unique combination of different scientific disciplines and analytical approaches also constitute a challenge to most researchers wishing to apply landscape genomics. Here, we present an introductory overview of important concepts and methods used in current landscape genomics. For this, we first define the field and explain basic concepts and methods to capture different hypotheses of landscape influences on neutral genetic variation. Next, we highlight established and emerging genomic tools for quantifying adaptive genetic variation in landscape genomic studies. To illustrate the covered topics and to demonstrate the potential of landscape genomics, we provide empirical examples addressing a variety of research question, i.e., the investigation of evolutionary processes driving population differentiation, the landscape genomics of range expanding species, and landscape genomic patterns in organisms of special interest, including species inhabiting aquatic and terrestrial environments. We conclude by outlining remaining challenges and future research avenues in landscape genomics.


Adaptive landscape genetics Environmental association analysis (EAA) Functional connectivity Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) Genotype-environment association (GEA) Landscape resistance Local adaptation Outlier loci Seascape genomics 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wildlife SciencesUniversity of GoettingenGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Forest Genetics and Forest Tree BreedingUniversity of GoettingenGöttingenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Ecosystem Science and ManagementTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  5. 5.N. I. Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  6. 6.Genome Research and Education CenterSiberian Federal UniversityKrasnoyarskRussia
  7. 7.Department of GeographyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  8. 8.School of ForestryNorthern Arizona UniversityAZUSA
  9. 9.Dorena Genetic Resource CenterORUSA
  10. 10.Wildlife Ecology and ManagementUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  11. 11.Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  12. 12.Evolutionary Genomics Group, Department of Botany and ZoologyUniversity of StellenboschStellenboschSouth Africa
  13. 13.Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and ManagementUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  14. 14.Laboratory of Geographic Information Systems (LASIG), School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC)Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)LausanneSwitzerland

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