Climatic Change

, Volume 126, Issue 1–2, pp 163–174 | Cite as

Northward range shifts in Korean butterflies

  • Tae-Sung Kwon
  • Cheol Min Lee
  • Sung-Soo Kim


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).


Northern Margin Southern Margin Butterfly Species Range Shift Open Land 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was conducted as part of a research project of the Korea Forest Research Institute (Project FE 0100-2009-01, Effect of climate change on forest ecosystem and adaptation of forest ecosystem). We sincerely thank late Mr. Joo-Myoung Seok and his sister late Prof. Joo-Seon Seok for publishing the first Korean butterfly atlas despite the harsh environment of the period. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions.

Supplementary material

10584_2014_1212_MOESM1_ESM.docx (286 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 286 kb)


  1. Addo-Bediako A, Chown SL, Gaston KJ (2000) Thermal tolerance, climatic variability and latitude. Proc R Soc Lond B 267:739–745CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. An S-I, Ha K-J, Seo K-H et al (2010) Detection and attribution of climate change: from East Asia to Korea. In: Kim M-K, Lee DK, Lee S et al (eds) Korean climate change assessment report 2010. Ministry of Environment, National Institute of Environmental Research, pp 69–84Google Scholar
  3. Andrew NR, Hill SJ, Binns M et al (2013) Assessing insect responses to climate change: what are we testing for? where should we be heading? Peer J 1:e11. doi: 10.7717/peerj.11 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bae JS, Lee KB (2006) Impacts of the substitution of firewood for home use on the forest greening after the 1945 Liberation of Korea. J Korean For Soc 95:60–72Google Scholar
  5. Brommer JE (2004) The range margins of northern birds shift polewards. Ann Zool Fenn 41:391–397Google Scholar
  6. Choi SW (2004) Trends in butterfly species richness in response to the peninsula effect in South Korea. J Biogeogr 31:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crozier L (2003) Winter warming facilitates range expansion: cold tolerance of the butterfly Atalopedes campestris. Oecologia 135:648–656Google Scholar
  8. Crozier L (2004) Warmer winters drive butterfly range expansion by increasing survivorship. Ecology 85:231–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hickling R, Roy DB, Hill JK et al (2006) The distributions of wide range of taxonomic groups are expanding polewards. Glob Chang Biol 12:450–455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hill JK, Thomas CD, Fox R et al (2002) Responses of butterflies to twentieth century climate warming: implications for future ranges. Proc R Soc Lond B 269:2163–2171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hitch AT, Leberg PL (2007) Breeding distributions of North American bird species moving north as a result of climate change. Conserv Biol 21:534–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. IPCC (1996) Climate change 1995: the science of climate change. In: Houghton JT, Meira Filho LG, Callander BA, Harris N, Kattenberg A, Maskell K (eds) Contribution of working group I to the second assessment report of the IPCC. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  13. IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: impacts adaptation and vulnerability. In: Parry ML, Canziani O, Palutikof J, van der Linden P, Hanson C (eds) Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  14. Kim S-S, Seo YH (2012) Life histories of Korean butterflies. Sagaejeol Pub. Co., Seoul (in Korean)Google Scholar
  15. Kim S-S, Lee CM, Kwon T-S, Joo HZ, Sung JH (2012) Korean butterfly atlas 1996–2011. Research Note 461. Korea Forest Research Institute, Korea Disabled Human Good Life Pub. Co, Seoul, in KoreanGoogle Scholar
  16. Kiritani K, Yukawa K (2010) Effects of global warming on insects. Japan Rural Education Association, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  17. Konvicka M, Maradova M, Benes J et al (2003) Uphill shifts in distribution of butterflies in the Czech Republic effects of changing climate detected on a regional scale. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 12:403–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kwon WT (2003) Changes of Korean climate of last 100 years and future prospects. Kor Met Adm News Lett 2:1–8 (in Korean)Google Scholar
  19. Kwon T-S (2014) An empirical test of mid-domain effect using Korean ant richness. J Asia Pac Biodivers 7:e19–e29Google Scholar
  20. Kwon T-S, Kim S-S, Chun JH, Byun BK, Lim J-H, Shin JH (2010) Changes in butterfly abundance in response to global warming and reforestation. Environ Entomol 39:337–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kwon T-S, Lee CM, Kim S-S, Sung JH (2012) Distribution change of Korean Butterflies 1938–2011. Research Note 472. Korea Forest Research Institute. Samsung Adcom Pub. Co, Seoul, in KoreanGoogle Scholar
  22. Kwon T-S, Kim S-S, Lee CM (2013) Local change of butterfly species in response to global warming and reforestation in Korea. Zool Stud 52:47–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kwon T-S, Kim S-S, Chon JH (2014) Pattern of ant diversity in Korea: an empirical test of Rapoport’s altitudinal rule. J Asia Pac Entomol 17:161–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McCarty JP (2001) Ecological consequences of recent climatic change. Conserv Biol 15:320–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ogawa-Onishi Y, Berry PM (2013) Ecological impacts of climate change in Japan: the importance of integrating local and international publications. Biol Conserv 157:361–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Parmesan C (1996) Climate and species’ range. Nature 382:765–766CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Parmesan C, Yohe G (2003) A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature 421:37–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Parmesan C, Phyholm N, Stefanescus C et al (1999) Poleward shifts in geographical ranges of butterfly species associated with regional warming. Nature 399:579–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pauli H (1996) Effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems – upward shifting of alpine plants. World Resour Rev 8:382–390Google Scholar
  30. Perry AL, Low PJ, Ellis JR et al (2005) Climate change and distribution shifts in marine fishes. Nature 308:1912–1915Google Scholar
  31. Seok DM (1973) The distribution maps of butterflies in Korea. Bojinjae, Pub. Co, Seoul, in KoreanGoogle Scholar
  32. Thomas CD, Lennon JJ (1999) Birds extend their ranges northwards. Nature 399:213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. VanDerWal J, Murphy HT, Kutt AS et al (2012) Focus on poleward shifts in species’ distribution underestimates the fingerprint of climate change. Nat Clim Chang 3:239–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Walther G-R, Post E, Convey P et al (2002) Ecological responses to recent climate change. Nature 416:389–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Warren RJ, Chick L (2013) Upward ant distribution shift corresponds with minimum, not maximum, temperature tolerance. Global Change Biol 19:2082–2088CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Warren MS, Hill JK, Thomas JA et al (2001) Rapid responses of British butterflies to opposing forces of climate and habitat change. Nature 414:65–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wilson RJ, Gutiérrez D, Gutiérrez J et al (2005) Changes to the elevational limits and extent of species ranges associated with climate change. Ecol Lett 8:1138–1146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Yamano H, Sugihara K, Nomura K (2011) Rapid poleward range expansion of tropical reef corals in response to rising sea surface temperatures. Geophys Res Lett 38, L04601. doi: 10.1029/2010GL046474 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Yun J-H, Kim J-H, Oh K-H, Lee B-Y (2011) Distributional change and climate condition of warm-temperate evergreen broad-leaved trees in Korea. Kor J Environ Econ 25:47–56Google Scholar
  40. Zuckerberg B, Woods AM, Porter WF (2009) Poleward shifts in breeding bird distributions in New York State. Global Change Biol 15:1866–1883CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Forest EcologyKorea Forest Research InstituteDongdaemun-guRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Research Institute for East Asian Environment and BiologyGangdong-guRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations