Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 11, pp 2713–2734 | Cite as

Relationship of butterfly diversity with nectar plant species richness in and around the Aokigahara primary woodland of Mount Fuji, central Japan

  • Masahiko KitaharaEmail author
  • Mitsuko Yumoto
  • Takato Kobayashi
Original Paper


We examined the relationships between the diversities of vegetation, adult nectar plants, and butterflies in and around the Aokigahara primary woodland on the northwestern footslopes of Mount Fuji, central Japan. The results showed that the nectar resource utilization by adult butterflies was significantly biased to herbaceous plants, especially to perennials, compared to woody species, although most of the study area was in and near a primary woodland. There were greater nectar plant species in sites with greater plant species richness. Among the butterfly community indices analyzed, the strongest correlation was detected between butterfly species richness and nectar plant species richness at each site. Another close correlation was detected between the species richness of nectar plants and herbaceous plants at each site. These results suggest that herbaceous plant species richness in a habitat plays a central role in its nectar plant species richness, and the nectar plant richness is a highly important factor supporting its adult butterfly species richness. Consequently, we propose that the maintenance and management of herbaceous plant species richness in a butterfly habitat, which lead to those of its nectar plant species richness, are very important for conservation of butterfly diversity even in and around woodland landscapes of temperate regions.


Adult nectar plants Butterfly diversity Herbaceous plants Plant–butterfly relations Species richness Vegetation Woodland habitats 



We thank the members of the Yamanashi Institute of Environmental Sciences, especially Drs. H. Imaki, Z. Jiang, H. Ueda, and Y. Yoshida, and Mss. M. Watanabe, K. Ogawa, A. Fujisono, and H. Furuya of the lab. of Animal Ecology for their suggestions, help, and cooperation for this study. This work was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) (no. 17310138) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) to M. Kitahara.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiko Kitahara
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mitsuko Yumoto
    • 2
  • Takato Kobayashi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal EcologyYamanashi Institute of Environmental Sciences (YIES)FujiyoshidaJapan
  2. 2.MitomiJapan

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