The scaling of genetic diversity in a changing and fragmented world

Arenas Busto, Miguel; Mona, Stefano; Trochet, Audrey; Sramkova Hanulova, Anna; Currat, Mathias; Ray, Nicolas; Chikhi, Lounes; Rasteiro, Rita; Schmeller, Dirk S.; Excoffier, Laurent (2014). The scaling of genetic diversity in a changing and fragmented world. In: Henle, Klaus; Potts, Simon; Kunin, William; Matsinos, Yiannis; Simila, Jukka; Pantis, John; Grobelnik, Vesna; Penev, Lyubomir; Settele, Josef (eds.) Scaling in Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation. Advanced Books (pp. 55-60). Sofia, Bulgaria: Pensoft Publishers

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Most species do not live in a constant environment over space or time. Their environment is often heterogeneous with a huge variability in resource availability and exposure to pathogens or predators, which may affect the local densities of the species. Moreover, the habitat might be fragmented, preventing free and isotropic migrations between local sub-populations (demes) of a species, making some demes more isolated than others. For example, during the last ice age populations of many species migrated towards refuge areas from which re-colonization originated when conditions improved. However, populations that could not move fast enough or could not adapt to the new environmental conditions faced extinctions. Populations living in these types of dynamic environments are often referred to as metapopulations and modeled as an array of subdivisions (or demes) that exchange migrants with their neighbors. Several studies have focused on the description of their demography, probability of extinction and expected patterns of diversity at different scales. Importantly, all these evolutionary processes may affect genetic diversity, which can affect the chance of populations to persist. In this chapter we provide an overview on the consequences of fragmentation, long-distance dispersal, range contractions and range shifts on genetic diversity. In addition, we describe new methods to detect and quantify underlying evolutionary processes from sampled genetic data.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Population Genetics
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)

UniBE Contributor:

Arenas Busto, Miguel; Mona, Stefano; Sramkova Hanulova, Anna and Excoffier, Laurent


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




Advanced Books


Pensoft Publishers




Isabelle Duperret

Date Deposited:

04 Sep 2015 14:41

Last Modified:

02 Sep 2020 16:06




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