Eur. J. Entomol. 112 (4): 770-777, 2015 | 10.14411/eje.2015.099

Effect of military activity on butterfly (Lepidoptera) communities in Korea: Conservation and maintenance of red listed species

Sung-Soo KIM1, Tae-Sung KWON2, Cheol Lee MIN3,*
1 Research Institute for East Asian Environment and Biology, 293-27 Amsa 3 dong, Angdong-gu, Seoul 143-203, Republic of Korea; e-mail: nabifri@chol.com
2 Division of Forest Insect Pests and Diseases, Korea Forest Research Institute, 57 Hoegi-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-712, Republic of Korea; e-mail: insectcom@chol.com
3 Center for Forest and Climate Change, Korea Forest Research Institute, 57 Hoegi-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-712, Republic of Korea; e-mail: leecheolmin77@gmail.com

Military training areas are increasingly recognized as areas of high biodiversity and habitats for many wild organisms, including threatened or endangered species. However, the information on the ecological value of military training areas is limited because it is difficult access these sites. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of military activity on butterfly communities. The survey was carried out in a military training area (MTA) at Inje-gun near the demilitarized zone (DMZ), Inje forest (IJF) a secondary forest and Gwangneung forest (GWF) an old growth forest, from April to October 2008 to 2011. IJF and GWF were selected in order to determine the characteristics of a butterfly community differed in a MTA. Butterfly communities differ greatly among sites. Estimated species richness and species diversity were significantly higher in MTA compared to GWF. Grassland species were abundant in MTA and forest interior species in GWF. Species richness and abundance of red listed species, especially grassland species, were greatest in MTA, but absent in GWF. Military activities were beneficial for red listed grassland species because they maintained an open habitat, which is rare elsewhere in current Korea. This study indicates that MTAs are important in terms of conservation and in providing a refuge for red listed grassland species.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, butterflies, red listed species, military training area, grassland, conservation

Received: July 10, 2015; Accepted: August 27, 2015; Prepublished online: September 22, 2015; Published: November 21, 2015

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