Skip to main content.

Network analysis identifies weak and strong links in a metapopulation system

by Alejandro F. Rozenfeld, Sophie Arnaud-Haond, Emilio Hernández-García, Víctor M. Eguíluz, Ester A. Serrão and Carlos M. Duarte
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS) 105, 18824-18829 (2008)
Output type: publication
web URL:
Available files:

The identification of key populations for conservation or eradication is a major challenge in population ecology, particularly when dealing threatened, invasive, and pathogenic species. Network theory was applied to map the genetic structure in a metapopulation system using microsatellite data from populations of the threatened seagrass Posidonia oceanica, as a model, sampled across its whole geographical range. This approach allowed the characterization of hierarchical population structure, and the identification of populations acting as hubs critical for relaying gene flow and sustaining the metapopulation system. This development opens major perspectives in a broad range of applications of molecular ecology and evolution such as conservation biology and epidemiology, where targeting specific populations is crucial.
The PDF file contains the manuscript text and movie1.avi is a supplementary movie.