Phylogeography's objective—to understand the processes underlying the spatial and temporal dimensions of genetic variation—underlies both the prominence and extensive methodological transformations that characterize this nascent field. Here I discuss the insights that come from detailed demographic information and how an understanding of phylogeographic history is crucial to addressing a range of evolutionary and ecological questions, from understanding the source of adaptive divergence to the factors structuring ecological communities. I review recent progress in phylogeography, including its expanding role in evolutionary and ecological study and the molecular and methodological advances that now provide unprecedented details about the factors governing population genetic variation and structure. As a field, phylogeography draws together information across disciplines (e.g., from genetics, ecology, systematics, and paleontology), using a diversity of technical and conceptual approaches. This unified eclectic perspective has been key to phylogeography's success and will be key to phylogeography's enduring future.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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