Habitat fragmentation is one of the major threats to amphibian species. In a previous study, population genetic analyses of the Japanese brown frog Rana japonica were conducted using a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) marker in a typical Japanese agricultural landscape (known as satoyama) in Chiba, Japan. This previous study revealed that gene flow was restricted by the roads and cement-walled urban river that divide this site. In the present study, we reanalyzed the genetic structure of the same meta-population using microsatellite markers in comparison with the mtDNA results and elucidated fine-scale gene flow. The genetic structure derived from the microsatellite clustering analysis was almost identical to that of the mtDNA results, although some important details differed. We recognized boundaries of genetic structure are consistent with the major roads and cement-walled river, however, we also detected gene flow across those artificial barriers. We concluded that the current genetic structure was formed in the past when gene flow was strongly restricted. Gene flow among breeding populations is now being restored by the maintenance of breeding sites, although it is not sufficient to erase the signature of historical isolation.
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Vol. 37 • No. 1