Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (8): 983-992.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019386

• Special Feature: Butterfly Diversity Monitoring • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Butterfly community structure and species-abundance distribution in different habitats in the Xinglong Mountains National Nature Reserve

Suqin Shang1,*(), Xingbo Wu1, Zhaolong Wang1, Henian Peng1, Huili Zhou2, Hongyong Zhang2, Yinglu Bai1   

  1. 1 Biological Engineering Laboratory of Crop Diseases and Pests of Gansu Province, College of Plant Protection, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070
    2 Administration of Xinglong Mountains National Nature Reserve in Gansu Province, Yuzhong, Gansu 730117
  • Received:2019-12-06 Accepted:2020-06-16 Online:2020-08-20 Published:2020-09-01
  • Contact: Suqin Shang


In order to determine species abundance, abundance distribution, and changes in community structure of butterflies found in different habitats in Xinglong Mountains National Nature Reserve, there are six sampling transect lines in total were used in various habitats in the forest stations located within the reserve. Between 2015-2018, the butterfly community in the reserve was evaluated using the method of route tracking. A total of 5,719 butterfly specimens belonging to 120 species, 69 genera, and 8 families were collected and these data were used to determine the biodiversity index and species-abundance distribution. The results show that the family Satyridae was the dominant group while species of family Libytheidae were the rarest. Using species numbers, individual numbers, diversity index and species richness as primary metrics, the sampling transect lines performed as follows: line I ranked first, and line IV ranked second, indicating that these habitats have stable structure and ideal environments well-suited for butterfly survival; line III ranked next and had a high diversity index due an abundance of nectar plants, followed by line V which had a lower diversity index due to its location at a higher altitude; finally, line II was ranked lowest due to the simple plant community structure present. The similarity coefficient between line I and VI, III and IV, III and VI were moderately similar, while pairwise comparisons between all other line combinations were moderately dissimilar. The fauna analysis showed that there were 63 Palaearctic species, 2 Oriental species, and 55 widely distributed species, which accounted for 52.5%, 1.7%, and 45.8% of the total species, respectively. The Palaearctic species were dominant relative to the Oriental species, which had a strong regional representation. The results of the species-abundance distribution analysis found that line I and IV had lognormal distribution pattern with a good model fit and line II and VI were atypical logarithmic series model, which was in accordance with the niche-preemption hypothesis. Together, these results indicate that both different habitats and human disturbance correlate with butterfly diversity, seen most notably in the diversity indices which were lower in simple ecosystems and higher in complicated ecosystems.

Key words: butterfly, community structure, diversity index, species-abundance distribution, Xinglong Mountains National Nature Reserve