Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220


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Published online December 9, 2021

Journal of Ecology and Environment (2021) 45:33

Northward expansion trends and future potential distribution of a dragonfly Ischnura senegalensis Rambur under climate change using citizen science data in South Korea

Sookyung Shin1,Kwang Soo Jung2,Hong Gu Kang3,Ji-Hee Dang1,Doohee Kang1,Jeong Eun Han1 and Jin Han Kim1

Department of Biological Resources Utilization, National Institute of Biological Resources, Incheon, Republic of Korea; Odonata Society of Korea, Goyang, Republic of Korea; NATURING, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:Jin Han Kim

Received: November 8, 2021; Accepted: November 18, 2021

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Citizen science is becoming a mainstream approach of baseline data collection to monitor biodiversity and climate change. Dragonflies (Odonata) have been ranked as the highest priority group in biodiversity monitoring for global warming. Ischnura senegalensis Rambur has been designated a biological indicator of climate change and is being monitored by the citizen science project “Korean Biodiversity Observation Network.” This study has been performed to understand changes in the distribution range of I. senegalensis in response to climate change using citizen science data in South Korea.


We constructed a dataset of 397 distribution records for I. senegalensis, ranging from 1980 to 2020. The number of records sharply increased over time and space, and in particular, citizen science monitoring data accounted for the greatest proportion (58.7%) and covered the widest geographical range. This species was only distributed in the southern provinces until 2010 but was recorded in the higher latitudes such as Gangwon-do, Incheon, Seoul, and Gyeonggi-do (max. Paju-si, 37.70° latitude) by 2020. A species distribution model showed that the annual mean temperature (Bio1; 63.2%) and the maximum temperature of the warmest month (Bio5; 16.7%) were the most critical factors influencing its distribution. Future climate change scenarios have predicted an increase in suitable habitats for this species.


This study is the first to show the northward expansion in the distribution range of I. senegalensis in response to climate warming in South Korea over the past 40 years. In particular, citizen science was crucial in supplying critical baseline data to detect the distribution change toward higher latitudes. Our results provide new insights on the value of citizen science as a tool for detecting the impact of climate change on ecosystems in South Korea.

Keywords: Citizen science; Climate-sensitive biological indicator species; Global warming; Ischnura senegalensis ; Korean Biodiversity Observation Network; Northward shifts; Species distribution model

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220