Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220

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Published online August 19, 2019
https://doi.org/10.1186/s41610-019-0129-0

Journal of Ecology and Environment (2019) 43:32

© The Ecological Society of Korea.

Influence of plant on distribution of an endangered butterfly, Leptalina unicolor (Bremer & Grey, 1853), in restored riverside areas along the Geum River

Jong-Yun Choi1, Seong-Ki Kim1, You-Hyune Back2, Ju-A Jeon2, Jeong-Cheol Kim1 and Jong-Hak Yun1

National Institute of Ecology, Gangjin-gun, South Korea; Butterfly Village Agricultural Corporation Company, Ltd., Gangjin-gun, South Korea

Correspondence to:Jong-Hak Yun

Received: May 28, 2019; Accepted: July 29, 2019

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Abstract

Background

The dramatic worldwide decline in the butterfly species Leptalina unicolor (Bremer & Grey) is largely the result of continuous habitat decline and disturbance by humans. The discovery of a narrow habitat in riverside wetlands utilized by L. unicolor raises the hope that such restricted key areas could be rather easily protected.>

Results

Here, we explain the environmental variables and habitat characteristics that primarily influence the distribution of L. unicolor discovered at the riverside areas along the Geum River. L. unicolor larvae were found at 9 of 13 study sites, and their abundance was strongly positively correlated with plant biomass. Our investigation showed that among four plant species (Miscanthus sinensis, Spodiopogon cotulifer, Setaria viridis, and Imperata cylindrica), L. unicolor larvae were the most abundant on the leaves of M. sinensis. They were not abundant on the leaves of S. cotulifer, S. viridis, or I. cylindrica. Interestingly, the number of L. unicolor larvae was positively correlated with the coverage area (m2) of M. sinensis (F = 41.7, r2 = 0.74, P < 0.0001).>

Conclusions

It appears that water (e.g., wetlands, ponds, and watersides) located along the riverside areas along the Geum River is important for the constant maintenance and conservation of L. unicolor. This is based on the habitat characteristics (water preference) of M. sinensis, which is used as a habitat by L. unicolor larvae. However, the waterside is dry and terrestrialization is in progress owing to the decreased water levels and water supply caused by an opened weir. Hereafter, this area will likely require management to secure a stable habitat for L. unicolor.

Keywords: Wetland, Miscanthus sinensis , Habitat, Food source, Restoration, Four Rivers Project

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220