The value of DNA sequence data for studying landscape genetics.

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    • Abstract:
      In a recent Opinion article in Molecular Ecology, Wang (2010) emphasizes the fact that current patterns of genetic differentiation among populations reflect processes that have acted over temporal scales ranging from contemporary to ancient. He draws a sharp distinction between the fields of phylogeography (as the study of historical processes) and landscape genetics (which he restricts to very recent processes). Wang characterizes DNA sequence data as being inappropriate for the study of contemporary population processes and further states that studies which only include mitochondrial DNA or chloroplast DNA data cannot be considered part of landscape genetics. In this response, we clarify the generally accepted view that DNA sequence data can be analysed with methods that separate contemporary and historical processes. To illustrate this point, we summarize the study of Vandergast et al. (2007), which Wang mischaracterizes as being confused in terms of temporal scale. Although additional focus should be placed on the important issue of correct data interpretation, we disagree strongly with the implication that contemporary and historic processes cannot be separated in the analyses of DNA sequence data. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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