Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (8): 921-930.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019364

• Special Feature: Butterfly Diversity Monitoring •     Next Articles

Population dynamics and diversity of butterflies in Ailaoshan and Wuliangshan national nature reserves, Yunnan Province

Qun Wang1, Zhixiang Guo1, Jinbin Li1, Kaibo Wang1, Wenwei Wu1, Entang Pu1, Fangzhou Ma1,*(), Chengxing He2,*()   

  1. 1 Institute of Agricultural Environment and Resource, Yunnan Agricultural Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650205
    2 Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Ecology and Environment; National Key Laboratory of Biosafety, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Nanjing 210042
  • Received:2019-11-20 Accepted:2020-02-06 Online:2020-08-20 Published:2020-05-15
  • Contact: Fangzhou Ma,Chengxing He


Butterflies are one of the most concerned taxonomic groups and environmental indicators among invertebrate. Population dynamics and community structure of butterflies can quickly and effectively reflect the environmental situation of Ecosystem. Ailaoshan and Wuliangshan national nature reserves are rich in animal and plant resources with complicated and diversified habitats. To effectively protect and utilize environment and resources, this study researched population quantitative characteristics and diversity of butterflies in the two reserves during 2016 to 2018. Both Ailaoshan and Wuliangshan had high diversity levels, though Ailaoshan was more abundant than Wuliangshan. In Ailaoshan, 149 species were attributed to 5 families and 83 genera with Hs′ of 3.92, a Simpson’s index (D) of 0.97, and species richness (R) of 16.36. In Wuliangshan, 143 species were attributed to 5 families and 88 genera with Hs′ of 3.64, D of 0.96, and R of 15.04. In total among both areas, 178 species were identified, belonging to 5 families and 99 genera. The two regions shared similarities in butterfly communities, with a Similarity index of 0.64. There was evidence of vertical butterfly distribution Ailaoshan and Wuliangshan as most butterflies were distributed below altitude 1,100 meters in Ailaoshan, and between 1,100 to 1,400 meters in Wuliangshan. There were seasonal differences as well, as the butterflies mainly appear from May to September, but species abundances peaked in Ailaoshan in August while Wuliangshan peaked in September. Annual analysis showed 2016 had a greater abundance of butterflies, which is closely related to suitable climate and weak human disturbance. Overall, 13 threatened and 3 vulnerable species according to China Species Red List, and 56 unlisted species with less than 10 individuals were recorded in Ailaoshan and Wuliangshan national nature reserves. Therefore, butterfly protection is urgent and recommended in these regions.

Key words: butterfly, Ailaoshan National Nature Reserve, Wuliangshan National Nature Reserve, population dynamics, biodiversity