A new analysis approach in landscape genetics and phylogeography is the creation of “genetic landscapes” to visualize genetic structure across geographic space. The Genetic Landscapes GIS Toolbox contains four tools to map genetic landscapes and to summarize multiple genetic landscapes as average and variance surfaces in ArcGIS ® (Environmental Science Research Institute, Redlands, CA, USA). Together, these tools automate a series of calculations and data manipulations to create genetic landscape surfaces directly from tables containing genetic distance or diversity data and sample location coordinates. This allows users with little GIS experience to create and analyze these complex raster surfaces with efficiency and accuracy. The analysis steps implemented in the Landscape Genetics GIS Toolbox were originally developed for an ecoregional assessment of genetic divergence and diversity patterns of multiple species in southern California (Vandergast et al., 2008).
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