Landscape genomics: understanding relationships between environmental heterogeneity and genomic characteristics of populations

Niko Balkenhol, Rachael Dudaniec, Konstantin V. Krutovsky, Jeremy S. Johnson, David M. Cairns, Gernot Segelbacher, Kimberly A. Selkoe, Sophie von der Hayden, Ian J. Wang, Oliver Selmoni, Stéphane Joost

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPopulation genomics
Subtitle of host publicationconcepts, approaches and applications
EditorsOm P. Rajora
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages62
ISBN (Electronic)9783030045890
ISBN (Print)9783030045876, 9783030045883
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2017

Publication series

NamePopulation Genomics
ISSN (Print)2364-6764
ISSN (Electronic)2364-6772


  • 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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