Syntopic frogs reveal different patterns of interaction with the landscape: A comparative landscape genetic study of Pelophylax nigromaculatus and Fejervarya limnocharis from central China

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Garcia, Vhon Oliver
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University of Guelph

Commonly known amphibian attributes of low vagility and high philopatry usually lead to oversimplification of patterns about their interaction with the landscape. Thus, there is a need to look into comparable species with different intrinsic characteristics to see if there is any difference in their response patterns while experiencing the same landscape. Here, I used classic and recently developed landscape genetic approaches and microsatellite DNA markers to evaluate my hypothesis that species with different life history traits likely have different responses to the same landscape. I examined two syntopic frogs, Pelophylax nigromaculatus and Fejervarya limnocharis, and found contrasting levels of population structure and divergent patterns across all analyses. Specific landscape features causal to the genetic differentiation observed for each species were also identified. My study was able to refine former generalizations about amphibian landscape genetics. Comparative studies with multiple species are important to generate more informed management strategies for conservation and land use.

Landscape Genetics, amphibians, life history