, Volume 126, Issue 1-2, pp 163-174
Date: 01 Aug 2014

Northward range shifts in Korean butterflies

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Abstract

Northward shifts due to global warming are apparent in various organisms in the Northern Hemisphere such as insects, fish, birds, and plants. However, these findings were mainly reported in Europe and North America. Therefore, such range shifts should be examined in other regions such as Asia to confirm global northward shifts in the Northern Hemisphere. In South Korea, we tested whether the distribution margins of Korean butterflies shifted northward or southward. We used occurrence data from two Korean butterfly atlases (1938-1950 and 1996-2011). The margin (northern or southern) shifts were evaluated using both latitudinal shifts of margin records (direct evaluation) and the intercept shift in the regression equation between the margin shift and the change in occurrence (intercept evaluation). Northern margins of southern species shifted northwards, whereas southern margins of northern species shifted southwards due to habitat enlargement (national reforestation in South Korea). The annual northward shift of northern margins of 10 Korean southern species was 1.6 km for 60 years, which is similar to the Korean isothermal shift (1.5 km per year).