MEPS 554:1-19 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11792

FEATURE ARTICLE: REVIEW
A decade of seascape genetics: contributions to basic and applied marine connectivity

Kimberly A. Selkoe1,2,3,*,**, Cassidy C. D’Aloia4,*,**, Eric D. Crandall5, Matthew Iacchei6, Libby Liggins7, Jonathan B. Puritz8, Sophie von der Heyden9, Robert J. Toonen1

1Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawai‘i, Kāne‘ohe, HI 97644, USA
2National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
3Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
4Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G5, Canada
5School of Natural Sciences, California State University, Monterey Bay, 100 Campus Center, Seaside, CA 93955, USA
6Department of Oceanography, University of Hawai‘i at M-anoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
7Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, Auckland 0745, New Zealand
8Marine Science Center, Northeastern University, Nahant, MA 01945, USA
9Evolutionary Genomics Group, Department of Botany and Zoology, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa
*Corresponding author: **These authors contributed equally to this work

ABSTRACT: Seascape genetics, a term coined in 2006, is a fast growing area of population genetics that draws on ecology, oceanography and geography to address challenges in basic understanding of marine connectivity and applications to management. We provide an accessible overview of the latest developments in seascape genetics that merge exciting new ideas from the field of marine population connectivity with statistical and technical advances in population genetics. After summarizing the historical context leading to the emergence of seascape genetics, we detail questions and methodological approaches that are evolving the discipline, highlight applications to conservation and management, and conclude with a summary of the field’s transition to seascape genomics. From 100 seascape genetic studies, we assess trends in taxonomic and geographic coverage, sampling and statistical design, and dominant seascape drivers. Notably, temperature, oceanography and geography show equal prevalence of influence on spatial genetic patterns, and tests of over 20 other seascape factors suggest that a variety of forces impact connectivity at distinct spatio-temporal scales. A new level of rigor in statistical analysis is critical for disentangling multiple drivers and spurious effects. Coupled with GIS data and genomic scale sequencing methods, this rigor is taking seascape genetics beyond an initial focus on identifying correlations to hypothesis-driven insights into patterns and processes of population connectivity and adaptation. The latest studies are illuminating differences between demographic, functional and neutral genetic connectivity, and informing applications to marine reserve design, fisheries science and strategies to assess resilience to climate change and other anthropogenic impacts.


KEY WORDS: Seascape genetics · Genomics · Connectivity · Marine population genetics · Gene flow · Dispersal · Landscape genetics


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Cite this article as: Selkoe KA, D’Aloia CC, Crandall ED, Iacchei M and others (2016) A decade of seascape genetics: contributions to basic and applied marine connectivity. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 554:1-19. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11792

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