Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 10, Issue 8, pp 1369–1386

Rapid assessment of butterfly diversity in a montane landscape

  • Sara E. Simonson
  • Paul A. Opler
  • Thomas J. Stohlgren
  • Geneva W. Chong
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1016663931882

Cite this article as:
Simonson, S.E., Opler, P.A., Stohlgren, T.J. et al. Biodiversity and Conservation (2001) 10: 1369. doi:10.1023/A:1016663931882

Abstract

We present the results of a rapid assessment of butterfly diversity in the 754 ha Beaver Meadows study area in Rocky Mountain National Park, Larimer County, Colorado. We measured butterfly species richness and relative abundance as part of a landscape-scale investigation of diversity patterns involving several groups of organisms. A stratified random sampling design was used to include replication in both rare and common vegetation types. We recorded 49 butterfly species from the twenty-four 0.1 ha plots that were sampled four times during June, July, and August 1996. Butterfly species richness, diversity, and uniqueness were highest in quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michaux) groves and wet meadows, which occupy only a small proportion of the studied landscape. This result supports the suggestion that aspen areas represent ‘hotspots’ of biological diversity in this montane landscape. Patterns of butterfly species richness were positively correlated with total vascular plant species richness (r = 0.69; P < 0.001), and native plant species richness (r = 0.64; P < 0.001). However, exotic plant species richness (r = 0.70; P < 0.001) and the cover of exotic plant species (r = 0.70; P < 0.001) were the best predictors of butterfly species richness.

butterflies exotic species invasions landscape-scale diversity assessment plant–butterfly relations quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michaux) 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara E. Simonson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paul A. Opler
    • 2
  • Thomas J. Stohlgren
    • 1
    • 3
  • Geneva W. Chong
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Natural Resource Ecology LaboratoryColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management — EntomologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.Midcontinent Ecological Science CenterUS Geological SurveyFort CollinsUSA
  4. 4.Midcontinent Ecological Science CenterUS Geological SurveyFort CollinsUSA