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Volume 78, Issue 2


Landscape genetics in mammals

Claudine Montgelard
  • Corresponding author
  • Laboratoire de Biogéographie et Écologie des Vertébrés (EPHE), Centre d’Écologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive (CNRS UMR 5175), 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France
  • Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park 2006, South Africa
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Saliha Zenboudji
  • Laboratoire de Biogéographie et Écologie des Vertébrés (EPHE), Centre d’Écologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive (CNRS UMR 5175), 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Anne-Laure Ferchaud
  • Laboratoire de Biogéographie et Écologie des Vertébrés (EPHE), Centre d’Écologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive (CNRS UMR 5175), 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Véronique Arnal
  • Laboratoire de Biogéographie et Écologie des Vertébrés (EPHE), Centre d’Écologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive (CNRS UMR 5175), 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Bettine Jansen van Vuuren
  • Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park 2006, South Africa
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2013-11-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2012-0142


The focus of this review is on landscape genetics (LG), a relatively new discipline that arose approximately 10 years ago. LG spans the interface between population genetics and landscape ecology and thus incorporates the concepts, methods, and tools from both disciplines. On the basis of an understanding of the spatial distribution of genetic diversity, LG aims to explain how landscape and environmental characteristics influence microevolutionary processes and metapopulation dynamics, including gene flow (i.e., connectivity) and selection (i.e., local adaptations). LG is concerned with events that occurred during the recent time scale, and the individual is the operational unit. As a discipline that combines spatial genetic diversity with ecological features, LG is able to address questions relating to different evolutionary processes. We illustrate some of these here using examples taken from mammals: population structure; gene flow and the identification of barriers; fragmentation, connectivity, and corridors; local adaptation and selection; there are two different questions: applications in conservation genetics; and future developments in LG. We will then present the methods and tools commonly used in the different steps of LG analyses: the genetic and landscape sampling, the quantification of genetic variation, the characterization of spatial landscape structures, and finally, the correlation between genetic patterns and landscape features.

Keywords: genetic pattern; landscape features; sampling; scale; spatial structure


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About the article

Corresponding author: Claudine Montgelard, Laboratory of Biogeography and Vertebrate Ecology (EPHE), Centre for Evolutionary and Functional Ecology (CNRS UMR 5175), 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France; and Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park 2006, South Africa, e-mail:

Received: 2012-12-24

Accepted: 2013-09-23

Published Online: 2013-11-07

Published in Print: 2014-05-01

Citation Information: Mammalia, Volume 78, Issue 2, Pages 139–157, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2012-0142.

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