Dyer RJ. 2015  Is there such a thing as landscape genetics?  Molecular Ecology.

Dyer RJ. 2015 Is there such a thing as landscape genetics? Molecular Ecology.

For a scientific discipline to be interdisciplinary it must satisfy two conditions; it must consist of contributions from at least two existing disciplines and it must be able to provide insights, through this interaction, that neither progenitor discipline could address. In this paper, I examine the complete body of peer-reviewed literature self-identified as landscape genetics using the statistical approaches of text mining and natural language processing. The goal here is to quantify the kinds of questions being addressed in landscape genetic studies, the ways in which questions are evaluated mechanistically, and how they are differentiated from the progenitor disciplines of landscape ecology and population genetics. I then circumscribe the main factions within published landscape genetic papers examining the extent to which emergent questions are being addressed and highlighting a deep bifurcation between existing individual- and population-based approaches. I close by providing some suggestions on where theoretical and analytical work is needed if landscape genetics is to serve as a real bridge connecting evolution and ecology sensu lato.

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.13249

GStudio: An R Package for Spatial Analysis of Marker Data

This is the main package that provides data types and routines for spatial analysis of genetic marker data. The previous version is currently available on CRAN and you can install it rom within your R environtment by invoking the command

install.packages("gstudio")

If you want to keep up with the latest developments of this package, you can use the version found on GitHub.  Install it from within R as:

require(devtools)
install_github("dyerlab/gstudio")

and that should get you up-to-date.  You’ll need to have a fully working LaTeX install and some other stuff to build it if you fork.

The Users Manual for the package with several examples can be found here

I have started a github account for this package, you can get access to the whole codebase read about it on the wiki, and contribute to the project from its repo at https://github.com/dyerlab.

Dyer RJ, Chan DM, Gardiakos VA, Meadows CA. 2012. Pollination networks: quantifying pollen pool covariance networks and the influence of intervening landscape on genetic connectivity in the North American understory tree, Cornus florida L. Landscape Ecology, 27 239-251.

Dyer RJ, Chan DM, Gardiakos VA, Meadows CA. 2012. Pollination networks: quantifying pollen pool covariance networks and the influence of intervening landscape on genetic connectivity in the North American understory tree, Cornus florida L. Landscape Ecology, 27 239-251.

The manner by which pollinators move across a landscape and their resulting preferences and/or avoidances of travel through particular habitat types can have a significant impact on plant population genetic structure and population-level connectivity. We examined the spatial genetic structure of the understory tree Cornus florida (Cornaceae) adults (NAdults = 452) and offspring (NOffspring = 736) across two mating events to determine the extent to which pollen pool genetic covariance is influenced by intervening forest architecture. Resident adults showed no spatial partitioning but genotypes were positively autocorrelated up to a distance of 35 m suggesting a pattern of restricted seed dispersal. In the offspring, selfing rates were small (sm = 0.035) whereas both biparental inbreeding (sb;open canopy = 0.16, sb;closed canopy = 0.11) and correlated paternity (rp;open canopy = 0.21, rp;closed canopy = 0.07) were significantly influenced by primary canopy opening above individual mothers. The spatial distribution of genetic covariance in pollen pool composition was quantified for each reproductive event using Pollination Graphs, a network method based upon multivariate conditional genetic covariance. The georeferenced graph topology revealed a significant positive relationship between genetic covariance and pollinator movement through C. florida canopies, a negative relationship with open primary canopy (e.g., roads under open canopies and fields with no primary canopy), and no relationship with either conifer or mixed hardwood canopy species cover. These results suggest that both resident genetic structure within stands and genetic connectivity between sites in C. florida populations are influenced by spatial heterogeneity of mating individuals and quality of intervening canopy cover.

DOI: 10.1007/s10980-011-9696-x

Dyer RJ, Nason JD, Garrick RC. 2010. Landscape modeling of gene flow: improved power using conditional genetic distance derived from the topology of population networks. Molecular Ecology, 19 3746-3759.

Dyer RJ, Nason JD, Garrick RC. 2010. Landscape modeling of gene flow: improved power using conditional genetic distance derived from the topology of population networks. Molecular Ecology, 19 3746-3759.

Landscape genetics is a burgeoning field of interest that focuses on how site-specific factors influence the distribution of genetic variation and the genetic connectivity of individuals and populations. In this manuscript, we focus on two methodological extensions for landscape genetic analyses: the use of conditional genetic distance (cGD) derived from population networks and the utility of extracting potentially confounding effects caused by correlations between phylogeographic history and contemporary ecological factors. Individual-based simulations show that when describing the spatial distribution of genetic variation, cGD consistently outperforms the traditional genetic distance measure of linearized FST under both 1- and 2-dimensional stepping stone models and Cavalli-Sforza and Edward’s chord distance Dc in 1-dimensional landscapes. To show how to identify and extract the effects of phylogeographic history prior to embarking on landscape genetic analyses, we use nuclear genotypic data from the Sonoran desert succulent Euphorbia lomelii (Euphrobiaceae), for which a detailed phylogeographic history has previously been determined. For E. lomelii, removing the effect of phylogeographic history significantly influences our ability to infer both the identity and the relative importance of spatial and bio-climatic variables in subsequent landscape genetic analyses. We close by discussing the utility of cGD in landscape genetic analyses.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04748.x

Sork VL, Smouse PE, Apsit VJ, Dyer RJ, Westfall RD. 2005. A two-generation analysis of pollen pool genetic structure in flowering dogwood, Cornus florida (Cornaceae), in the Missouri Ozarks. American Journal of Botany, 92 262-271.

Anthropogenic landscape change can disrupt gene flow. As part of the Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project, this study examined whether silvicultural practices influence pollen-mediated gene movement in the insect-pollinated species, Cornus florida L., by comparing pollen pool structure (Φst) among clear-cutting, selective cutting, and uncut regimes with the expectation that pollen movement should be least in the uncut regime. Using a sample of 1500 seedlings—10 each from 150 seed parents (43 in clear-cut, 74 in selective, and 33 in control sites) from six sites (each ranging from 266 to 527 ha), eight allozyme loci were analyzed with a pollen pool structure approach known as TWOGENER (Smouse et al., 2001; Evolution 55: 260–271). This analysis revealed that pollen pool structure was less in clear-cut (&PhiC = 0.090, P < 0.001) than in uncut areas (ΦU = 0.174, P < 0.001), with selective-cut intermediate (ΦS = 0.125, P < 0.001). These estimates translate into more effective pollen donors (Nep) in clear-cut (Nep = 5.56) and selective-cut (Nep = 4.00) areas than in uncut areas (Nep = 2.87). We demonstrate that &PhiC ≤ ΦS ≤ ΦU, with ΦC significantly smaller than ΦU (P < 0.034). The findings imply that, as long as a sufficiently large number of seed parents remain to provide adequate reproduction and to avoid a genetic bottleneck in the effective number of mothers, silvicultural management may not negatively affect the effective number of pollen parents, and hence subsequent genetic diversity in Cornus florida.

DOI: 10.3732/ajb.92.2.262.

Dyer RJ, Sork VL. 2001. Pollen pool heterogeneity in shortleaf pine, Pinus echinata, Mill. Molecular Ecology, 10 859-866.

Pollen is the dominant vector of gamete exchange for most temperate tree species. Because pollen movement influences the creation, maintenance and erosion of genetic structure in adult populations, it is important to understand what factors influence the process of pollen movement. Isolation by distance in pollen donor populations can create highly structured pollen polls by increased sampling of local fathers. Extrinsic factors, such as the intervening vegetative structure and local pollen donor densities, can also influence the genetic composition of local pollen pools. Using paternally inherited chloroplast microsatellite markers, we examined the structure and diversity of pollen pools in Pinus echinata Mill. in southern Missouri, USA. Our analysis is based on a multivariate AMOVA analysis of stands (~1 ha; six per region) nested within regions (~800 ha; four each). Significant multilocus structure of the pollen pool within regions (ΦSR = 0.095), but not among regions (ΦRT = 0.010), indicates that pollen movement is relatively restricted. Furthermore, the significant correlation between pairwise genetic and physical distances (Mantel correlation; ρ = 0.32) provided support for the isolation by distance hypothesis. Our results indicated that availability of pollen donors did not affect diversity of the pollen pool, measured by the number of unique multilocus genotypes at each stand. However, pollen pool diversity was negatively associated with vegetative structure, measured as total forest tree density. Our findings indicated that on-going pollen movement within continuous forest is relatively restricted as a result of both isolation by distance and vegetative structure.

DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-294X.2001.01251.x