Approximately 20 years ago, Avise and colleagues proposed the integration of phylogenetics and population genetics for investigating the connection between micro- and macroevolutionary phenomena. The new field was termed phylogeography. Since the naming of the field, the statistical rigor of phylogeography has increased, in large part due to concurrent advances in coalescent theory which enabled model-based parameter estimation and hypothesis testing. The next phase will involve phylogeography increasingly becoming the integrative and comparative multi-taxon endeavor that it was originally conceived to be. This exciting convergence will likely involve combining spatially-explicit multiple taxon coalescent models, genomic studies of natural selection, ecological niche modeling, studies of ecological speciation, community assembly and functional trait evolution. This ambitious synthesis will allow us to determine the causal links between geography, climate change, ecological interactions and the evolution and composition of taxa across whole communities and assemblages. Although such integration presents analytical and computational challenges that will only be intensified by the growth of genomic data in non-model taxa, the rapid development of "likelihood-free" approximate Bayesian methods should permit parameter estimation and hypotheses testing using complex evolutionary demographic models and genomic phylogeographic data. We first review the conceptual beginnings of phylogeography and its accomplishments and then illustrate how it evolved into a statistically rigorous enterprise with the concurrent rise of coalescent theory. Subsequently, we discuss ways in which model-based phylogeography can interface with various subfields to become one of the most integrative fields in all of ecology and evolutionary biology.
- Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC)
- Coalescent theory
- Comparative phylogeography
- Ecological niche modeling (ENM)
- Statistical phylogeography