Genetic dispersal and environmental adaptation during range-expansion

    Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


    Within today’s rapidly changing world, species are faced with great challenges to their dispersal and adaptive capacities, which together underlie the persistence of biodiversity. New ways of combining spatial and genetic information are needed to aid conservation of species’ connectivity, to understand range expansion potential and to assess evolutionary persistence. Using landscape genomics techniques, we can explore the spatial genetic processes that govern the potential of species to move and adapt when challenged by threats such as habitat degradation and climate change. With genomic data spanning six degrees of latitude along the distribution of a range-expanding damselfly (Ischnura elegans) in Sweden, I ask: how do landscape features and climatic variables limit or facilitate gene flow and adaptation of species? With thousands of SNP markers derived from a RAD sequencing approach, I test for signatures of selection in relation to environmental and morphological parameters, and examine landscape effects of dispersal. Different patterns of local adaptation are found at the range edge compared to the southern ‘core’ region and reveals patterns of adaptation during range expansion and under ongoing gene flow. This work demonstrates the value of landscape genomics for understanding evolutionary processes across diverse landscapes, where species must move and adapt to novel conditions.
    Period29 Nov 20153 Dec 2015
    Event titleEcological Society of Australia
    Event typeConference
    LocationAdelaide, Australia, South AustraliaShow on map