Understanding how landscape features affect gene flow has implications for numerous fields including conservation biology, epidemiology, and evolutionary and molecular ecology. Despite this importance, objective quantification and assessment of landscape resistance has remained a significant challenge. From its inception, an allure of landscape genetics has been the potential to use spatial genetic data to determine how landscape features affect gene flow. However, landscape genetics has struggled to identify a rigorous and coherent framework for conducting landscape resistance analyses. Most current approaches for optimizing landscape resistance values rely on some combination of expert opinion, a limited search of parameter space, or advanced coding skills. The R package ResistanceGA overcomes many of the challenges faced by researchers seeking to determine how landscape features affect movement and gene flow. ResistanceGA provides user-friendly functions for optimizing landscape resistance surfaces using pairwise genetic data, as well as a coherent framework for conducting model selection.This half day workshop will provide a brief overview of landscape resistance modeling in the context of landscape genetics, followed by detailed coverage of how to use ResistanceGA to optimize landscape resistance surfaces. Workshop attendees will get extensive hands-on experience using ResistanceGA functions, conducting analyses, and interpreting results. To get the most out of this workshop, attendees should have a working knowledge of R.
Organizers: William Peterman, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; Stephen Spear, The Wilds, Cumberland, Ohio
Supported by: Molecular Ecology Working Group