Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Chanté D. Davis; Clinton W. Epps; Rebecca L. Flitcroft; Michael A. Banks
    Date: 2018
    Source: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water. 5(2): e1269-.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (4.0 MB)


    Traditional analysis in population genetics evaluates differences among groups of individuals and, in some cases, considers the effects of distance or potential barriers to gene flow. Genetic variation of organisms in complex landscapes, seascapes, or riverine systems, however, may be shaped by many forces. Recent research has linked habitat heterogeneity and landscape or seascape configuration to genetic structure by integrating methods from landscape ecology, population genetics, and spatial statistics in approaches known as landscape or seascape genetics. However, functional differences between terrestrial or seascapes systems in comparison to riverscape topography (i.e., movement pathways for aquatic obligate species are constrained to river channels) make translating these approaches into freshwater analyses problematic. Studies that may be described as riverscape genetics (RG) have linked temperature, stream gradient, and confluences to genetic variability. Lack of consistency in methodology, however, has made comparisons across species and scales difficult. We provide a perspective on how RG could be used to provide a more comprehensive conceptual and applied understanding of connectivity and dispersal in freshwater systems. We describe four thematic areas of study representing current and future research opportunities and describe a basic workflow for conducting RG analysis. Although numerous methodological challenges remain, a RG approach can enhance our understanding of habitat heterogeneity in shaping gene flow and spatial genetic structure. These characteristics of populations are critical components for interpreting demographic and evolutionary consequences of habitat loss and fragmentation.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Davis, Chanté D.; Epps, Clinton W.; Flitcroft, Rebecca L.; Banks, Michael A. 2018. Refining and defining riverscape genetics: How rivers influence population genetic structure. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water. 5(2): e1269-.


    Google Scholar


    Riverscape, genetics, analysis, methods, framework.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page