Skip to main content

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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  • Begon M, Harper JL, Townsend CR (1996) Ecology: individuals, populations, and communities, 3rd edn. Blackwell Science, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Blair RB, Launer AE (1997) Butterfly diversity and human land use: species assemblages along an urban gradient. Biol Conserv 80:113–125

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clausen HD, Holbeck HB, Reddersen J (2001) Factors influencing abundance of butterflies and burnet moths in the uncultivated habitats of an organic farm in Denmark. Biol Conserv 98:167–178

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cook LM, Dennis RLH, Hardy PB (2001) Butterfly-hostplant fidelity, vagrancy and measuring mobility from distribution maps. Ecography 24:497–504

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Croxton PJ, Hann JP, Greatorex-Davies JN, Sparks TH (2005) Linear hotspots? The floral and butterfly diversity of green lanes. Biol Conserv 121:579–584

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dennis RLH (2001) Progressive bias in species status in symptomatic of fine-grained mapping units subject to repeated sampling. Biodivers Conserv 10:483–494

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dennis RLH (2004) Butterfly habitats, broad-scale biotope affiliations, and structural exploitation of vegetation at finer scales: the matrix revisited. Ecol Entomol 29:744–752

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dennis RLH, Bramley MJ (1985) The influence of man and climate on dispersion patterns within a population of adult Lasiommata megera (L.) (Satyridae) at Brereton Hearth Cheshire (UK). Nota Lepid 8:309–324

    Google Scholar 

  • Dennis RLH, Sparks TH, Hardy PB (1999) Bias in butterfly distribution maps: the effects of sampling effort. J Insect Conserv 3:33–42

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dennis RLH, Donato B, Sparks TH, Pollard E (2000) Ecological correlates of island incidence and geographical range among British butterflies. Biodivers Conserv 9:343–359

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dennis RLH, Hodgson JG, Grenyer R, Shreeve TG, Roy DB (2004) Host plants and butterfly biology: Do host-plant strategies drive butterfly status? Ecol Entomol 29:12–26

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dennis RLH, Shreeve TG, Arnold HR, Roy DB (2005) Does diet breadth control herbivorous insect distribution size? Life history and resource outlets for specialist butterflies. J Insect Conserv 9:187–200

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dennis RLH, Shreeve TG, Van Dyck H (2006) Habitats and resources: the need for a resource-based definition to conserve butterflies. Biodivers Conserv 15:1943–1966

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dennis RLH, Shreeve TG, Van Dyck H (2003) Towards a functional resource-based concept for habitat: a butterfly biology viewpoint. Oikos 102:417–426

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Douwes P (1975) Distribution of a population of the butterfly Heodes virgaureae. Oikos 26:332–340

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dover JW (1996) Factors affecting the distribution of satyrid butterflies on arable farmland. J Appl Ecol 33:723–734

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ehrlich PR, Gilbert LE (1973) Population structure and dynamics of the tropical butterfly Heliconius ethilla. Biotropica 5:69–82

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Erhardt A (1985) Diurnal Lepidoptera: sensitive indicators of cultivated and abandoned grassland. J Appl Ecol 22:849–861

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Feber RE, Smith H, Macdonald DW (1996) The effects on butterfly abundance of the management of uncropped edges of arable fields. J Appl Ecol 33:1191–1205

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gall LF (1985) Measuring the size of Lepidopteran populations. J Res Lepid 24:97–116

    Google Scholar 

  • Gilbert LE, Singer MC (1973) Dispersal and gene flow in a butterfly species. Am Nat 107:58–72

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Grossmueller DW (1987) The role of nectar source distribution in habitat use and oviposition by the tiger swallowtail butterfly. J Lepid Soc 41:159–165

    Google Scholar 

  • Hardy PB, Dennis RLH (1999) The impact of urban development on butterflies within a city region. Biodivers Conserv 8:1261–1279

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hawkins BA, Porter EE (2003) Does herbivore diversity depend on plant diversity? The case of California butterflies. Am Nat 161:40–49

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hogsden KL, Hutchinson TC (2004) Butterfly assemblages along a human disturbance gradient in Ontario, Canada. Can J Zool 82:739–748

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Holl KD (1995) Nectar resources and their influence on butterfly communities on reclaimed coal surface mines. Restor Ecol 3:76–85

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Holl KD (1996) The effect of coal surface mine reclamation on diurnal lepidopteran conservation. J Appl Ecol 33:225–236

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Inoue T (2003) Chronosequential change in a butterfly community after clear-cutting of deciduous forests in a cool temperate region of central Japan. Entomol Sci 6:151–163

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ishii M (1996) Species diversity of butterfly communities in different environment of forests in southern Osaka. In: Tanaka B, Arita Y (eds) Decline and conservation of butterflies in Japan, vol IV. The Lepidopterological Society of Japan, Osaka, pp 63–75 (in Japanese with English summary)

    Google Scholar 

  • Ishii M, Yamada M, Hirowatari T, Yasuda T (1991) Diversity of butterfly communities in urban parks in Osaka prefecture. Jpn J Environ Entomol Zool 3:183–195 (in Japanese with English summary)

    Google Scholar 

  • Ishii M, Hirowatari T, Fujiwara S (1995) Species diversity of butterfly communities in ’Mt, Mikusa Coppice’ for Zephyrus. Jpn J Environ Entomol Zool 7:134–146 (in Japanese with English summary)

    Google Scholar 

  • Kamimura Y (2004) Nectar-source plants and their usage patterns by an adult butterfly community in a riparian biotope. Nat Environ Sci Res 17:107–115 (in Japanese with English summary)

    Google Scholar 

  • Kitahara M (2000) Food resource usage patterns of adult butterfly communities in woodland habitats at the northern foot of Mt. Fuji, central Japan. Jpn J Environ Entmol Zool 11:61–81 (in Japanese with English summary)

    Google Scholar 

  • Kitahara M (2004) Butterfly community composition and conservation in and around a primary woodland of Mount Fuji, central Japan. Biodivers Conserv 13:917–942

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kitahara M, Fujii K (1994) Biodiversity and community structure of temperate butterfly species within a gradient of human disturbance: an analysis based on the concept of generalist vs. specialist strategies. Res Popul Ecol 36:187–199

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kitahara M, Watanabe M (2001) Relationships of butterfly community diversity to vegetational species richness in and around the Aokigahara woodland at the northern foot of Mt. Fuji, central Japan. Jpn J Environ Entomol Zool 12:131–145 (in Japanese with English abstract)

    Google Scholar 

  • Kitahara M, Watanabe M (2003) Diversity and rarity hotspots and conservation of butterfly communities in and around the Aokigahara woodland of Mount Fuji, central Japan. Ecol Res 18:503–522

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kitahara M, Sei K, Fujii K (2000) Patterns in the structure of grassland butterfly communities along a gradient of human disturbance: further analysis based on the generalist/specialist concept. Popul Ecol 42:135–144

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kocher SD, Williams EH (2000) The diversity and abundance of North American butterflies vary with habitat disturbance and geography. J Biogeogr 27:785–794

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kremen C (1992) Assessing the indicator properties of species assemblages for natural areas monitoring. Ecol Appl 2:203–217

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lincoln R, Boxshall G, Clark P (1998) A dictionary of ecology, evolution and systematics, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Loertscher M, Erhardt A, Zettel J (1995) Microdistribution of butterflies in a mosaic-like habitat: the role of nectar sources. Ecography 18:15–26

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • MacArthur RH (1972) Geographical ecology: patterns in the distribution of species. Harper & Row, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Mano T (2004) Butterfly communities in the center of Toyota City. Yahagi-River Res 8:115–121 (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Munguira ML, Thomas JA (1992) Use of road verges by butterfly and burnet populations, and the effect of roads on adult dispersal and mortality. J Appl Ecol 29:316–329

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Murphy DD (1983) Nectar sources as constraints on the distribution of egg masses by the checkerspot butterfly, Euphydryas chalcedona (Lepidoptera: Nympharidae). Environ Entomol 12:463–466

    Google Scholar 

  • Murphy DD, Wilcox BA (1986) Butterfly diversity in natural habitat fragments: a test of the validity of vertebrate-based management. In: Verner J, Morrison M, Ralph CJ (eds) Wildlife 2000, modeling habitat relationships of terrestrial vertebrates. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, pp 287–292

    Google Scholar 

  • Natuhara Y (2000) Changes in butterfly assemblage along the urban-forest gradient. Jpn J Landsc Res 63:515–518 (in Japanese with English summary)

    Google Scholar 

  • Natuhara Y, Imai C, Takahashi M (1999) Pattern of land mosaics affecting butterfly assemblage at Mt. Ikoma, Osaka, Japan. Ecol Res 14:105–118

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • New TR (1991, 1997) Butterfly conservation, 1st edn, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, Melbourne

  • Pianka ER (1988) Evolutionary ecology, 4th edn. Harper & Row, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Pivnick KA, McNeil JN (1987) Diel patterns of activity of Thymelicus lineola adults (Lepidoptera:Hesperiidae) in relation to weather. Ecol Entomol 12:197–207

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pollard E (1977) A method for assessing changes in the abundance of butterflies. Biol Conserv 12:115–134

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pollard E (1984) Synoptic studies on butterfly abundance. In: Vane-Wright RI, Ackery PK (eds) The biology of butterflies. Academic Press, London, pp 59–61

    Google Scholar 

  • Pollard E, Yates TJ (1993) Monitoring butterflies for ecology and conservation. Chapman & Hall, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Primack RB (1993) Essentials of conservation biology. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland

    Google Scholar 

  • Primack RB (1995) A primer of conservation biology. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland

    Google Scholar 

  • Pryke SR, Samways MJ (2003) Quality of remnant indigenous grassland linkages for adult butterflies (Lepidoptera) in an afforested African landscape. Biodivers Conserv 12:1985–2004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pywell RF, Warman EA, Sparks TH, Greatorex-Davies JN, Walker KJ, Meek WR, Carvell C, Petit S, Firbank LG (2004) Assessing habitat quality for butterflies on intensively managed arable farmland. Biol Conserv 118:313–325

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ries L, Debinski DM, Wieland ML (2001) Conservation value of roadside prairie restoration to butterfly communities. Conserv Biol 15:401–411

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sakuratani Y, Fujiyama S (1991) Influence of highway construction on butterfly communities. Jpn J Environ Entomol Zool 3:15–23 (in Japanese with English summary)

    Google Scholar 

  • Schmitt T (2003) Influence of forest and grassland management on the diversity and conservation of butterflies and burnet moths (Lepidoptera, Papilionoidea, Hesperiidae, Zygaenidae). Anim Biodivers Conserv 26:51–67

    Google Scholar 

  • Schneider C, Fry GLA (2001) The influence of landscape grain size on butterfly diversity in grasslands. J Insect Conserv 5:163–171

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Seido K (1991) Age of the hinoki (Chamaecyparis obtusa) natural stands and their distribution on the Aokigahara Woodland, Mt. Fuji. Trans Meet Kanto Branch Jpn For Soc Society 42:33–36 (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Sharp MA, Parks DR, Ehrlich PR (1974) Plant resources and butterfly habitat selection. Ecology 55:870–875

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shreeve TG, Mason CF (1980) The number of butterfly species in woodlands. Oecologia 45:414–418

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shreeve TG, Dennis RLH, Roy DB, Moss D (2001) An ecological classificationof British butterflies: ecological attributes and biotope occupancy. J Insect Conserv 5:145–161

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Simonson SE, Opler PA, Stohlgren TJ, Chong GW (2001) Rapid assessment of butterfly diversity in a montane landscape. Biodivers Conserv 10:1369–1386

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Simpson EH (1949) Measurement of diversity. Nature 163:688

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sparks TH, Parish T (1995) Factors affecting the abundance of butterflies in field boundaries in Swavesey Fens, Cambridgeshire, UK. Biol Conserv 73:221–227

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spitzer K, Novotny V, Tonner M, Leps J (1993) Habitat preferences, distribution and seasonality of the butterflies (Lepidoptera, Papilionoidea) in a montane tropical rain forest, Vietnam. J Biogeogr 20:109–121

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spitzer K, Jaros J, Havelka J, Leps J (1997) Effect of small-scale disturbance on butterfly communities of an Indochinese montane rainforest. Biol Conserv 80:9–15

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Steffan-Dewenter I, Tscharntke T (1997) Early succession of butterfly and plant communities on set-aside fields. Oecologia 109:294–302

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thomas JA (1983) A quick method for estimating butterfly numbers during surveys. Biol Conserv 27:195–211

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thomas CD, Mallorie HC (1985) Rarity, species richness and conservation: butterflies of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Biol Conserv 33:95–117

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tiple AD, Deshmukh VP, Dennis RLH (2006) Factors influencing nectar plant resource visits by butterflies on a university campus: implications for conservation. Nota lepid 28:213–224

    Google Scholar 

  • Tudor O, Dennis RLH, Greatorex-Davies JN, Sparks TH (2004) Flower preferences of woodland butterflies in the UK: nectaring specialists are species of conservation concern. Biol Conserv 119:397–403

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Usher MB, Keiller SWJ (1998) The macrolepidoptera of farm woodlands: determinants of diversity and community structure. Biodivers Conserv 7:725–748

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Väisänen R (1992) Distribution and abundance of diurnal Lepidoptera on a raised bog in southern Finland. Ann Zool Fenn 29:75–92

    Google Scholar 

  • Warren MS (1985) The influence of shade on butterfly numbers in woodland rides, with special reference to the wood white Leptidea sinapis. Biol Conserv 33:147–164

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

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.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Masahiko Kitahara.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 6 List of nectar plant species recorded in the present study, their observed sites (○), the number of butterfly species which utilized the respective nectar plants, and the species name of butterflies, which utilized the respective nectar plants

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kitahara, M., Yumoto, M. & Kobayashi, T. Relationship of butterfly diversity with nectar plant species richness in and around the Aokigahara primary woodland of Mount Fuji, central Japan. Biodivers Conserv 17, 2713–2734 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-007-9265-4

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-007-9265-4

Keywords