Barrier vs. 2.2 for MS Windows
a software to compute geographic barriers from a distance matrix

Free software released by the authors
Intended for academic use only - No commercial use !!!





Contents of the package:


Software (EXE file) 1.5 Mb

User's manual (PDF file) 2.7 Mb

Scientific article (PDF) 0.5 Mb 


How to cite the software:

F. Manni, E. Guérard & E. Heyer (2004). Geographic patterns of (genetic, morphologic, linguistic) variation: how barriers can be detected by “Monmonier’s algorithm”. Human Biology, 76(2): 173-190.

Last news (12 September 2006):

I have finally updated the website and I am quite happy that the program encountered a nice success and has been useful to many of you.
It is worth to remeber that the Monmonier algorythm (the core of the program) was developed by Marc Monmonier (distinguished professor at Syracuse University NY) a very clever scientist also author of popular books focusing on geography and geographic analysis. On his webpage he sais:

" The “Monmonier algorithm” ? Through the early 1990s my work focused on algorithms (computer recipes) for geographic analysis and map design. It’s gratifying when a technique you devised decades ago finds new uses in another field—like biological research. In 2004 Franz Manni, Etienne Guérard, and Evelyne Heyer, researchers at the Museum of Man, in Paris, published an article titled “Geographic Patterns of (Genetic, Morphologic, Linguistic) Variation: How Barriers Can Be Detected by Using Monmonier’s Algorithm” in Human Biology (vol. 76, pp. 173-90). Having “implemented Monmonier’s (1973) maximum difference algorithm in a new software package to identify genetic barriers,” they report that “this improved Monmonier’s method is highly reliable and can be applied to nongenetic data whenever sampling locations and a distance matrix between corresponding data are available.” Click here, to download a PDF file with my original paper, published in Geographical Analysis in 1973. "

Thanks Marc !

Problems when running the program:

  • This software was optimised for MS Windows NT. When running the program under MS Windows XP some problems may arise (e.g. you can't close the window, alert messages continuously opening, etc.). We have noticed that these problems tend to disappear if you build your own input files or if you save sample input files with slight modifications and then changing their names. It is safe to keep the "Task Manager" window open in order to be able to stop the program if something goes wrong.
  • Many users reported a compatibility problem: the program does not open or immediately shuts down after opening ("Barrier v.2.2.exe found a problem and need to be closed"). You can easily solve this problem, related to the different versions of MS Windows by following this procedure:
    1. click on the BARRIER icon (once on the desktop) with the right button and then select the last menu (“properties”)
    2. select the second folder (compatibility). At this stage try to run the program under win95 or win98 system.
    3. Usually this procedure fixes the problem, let me know if it doesn't.    


  • It doesn't compute matrices (single or resampled). You have to compute them with another software. BARRIER just analyse them.
  • It doesn't automatically import data from specific format (PHYLIP or other packages). You have to prepare a suitable input (see manual).
  • It doesn't import or export from and to a GIS program.

Short bibliography of articles mentioning the program
(many others may exist, let me know...):

  1. 2005
  • Bekkevold et al. 2005. Environmental Correlates of Population Differentiation ina Atlantic Herring. Evolution: 59: 2656–68.
  • Bond et al. 2005. Genetic Diversity in Crambe maritima Along the English Channel: the Role of Ocean Currents in determining Population Structure. Ecography 28: 374-84.
  • Godbut et al. 2005. A Mithocondrial DNA Minisatellite Reveals the Postglacial History of Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana), a broad-range North American Conifer. Molecular Ecology 14: 3497-512.
  • Miller M.P. 2005. Alleles In Space (AIS): Computer Software for the Joint Analysis of Interindividual Spatial and Genetic information. Journal of Heredity 96: 722-724. -- This author developed a program (AIS - Alleles In Space) that also performs a very basic Monmonier analysis, see his webpage for further reference
  • Santos, C. 2005. Genetic Structure of Flores Island (Azores, Portugal) in the 19th Century and in the Present Day: Evidence from Surname Analysis. Human Biology 77: 317-341.
  • Xue et al. 2005. Identification of Spatial Genetic Boundaries Using a Multifractal Model in Human Population Genetics. Human Biology 77: 577-617.
  1. 2006
  • Gagnon et al. 2006. The determinant role of temporary proglacial drainages on the genetic structure of fishes. Molecular Ecology  0: 000-000
  • Kenchington et al. 2006. Genetic Differentiation in Relation to marine Landscape in a Broadcast-Spawning Bivalve Mollusc (Placopecten magellanicus). Molecular Ecology  15: 1781-96
  • Jørgensen et al. 2005. Marine Landscapes and Population Genetic Structure of Herring (Clupea harengus L.) in the Baltic Sea. Molecular Ecology  0: 000-000
  • Manni et al. 2006. To What Extent are Surnames Words ? Comparing Geographic Patterns of Surname and Dialect variation in the Netherlands. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 0: 000-000
  • Procheş 2006. Latitudinal and longitudinal barriers in global biogeography. Biology Letters 2: 69 – 72.
  • Rollins et al. 2006. Population Genetic Tools for Pest Management: a Review. Wildlife Research  33: 251-61.
  • Vianna  et al. 2006. Phylogeography, phylogeny and hybridization in trichechid sirenians: implications for manatee conservation. Molecular Ecology  15:433-47


Sources are available upon request !!!





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