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Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 8587-8597; doi:10.3390/su7078587

How Many Butterflies Are There in a City of Circa Half a Million People?

1
Red de Ambiente y Sustentabilidad, Instituto de Ecología, A.C. Carretera antigua a Coatepec 351, El Haya, Xalapa 91070, Mexico
2
Grupo de Investigación en Biología, Ecología y Manejo de Hormigas, Universidad del Valle, Ciudad Universitaria Meléndez, Calle 13 No 100-00, Cali 25360, Colombia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 25 February 2015 / Revised: 27 May 2015 / Accepted: 1 June 2015 / Published: 2 July 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [588 KB, uploaded 2 July 2015]   |  

Abstract

Urbanization poses severe threats to biodiversity; thus, there is an urge to understand urban areas and their biological, physical, and social components if we aim to integrate sustainable practices as part of their processes. Among urban wildlife groups, butterflies have been used as biological indicators due to their high sensitivity to environmental changes. In this study, we estimated the number of butterflies that live within a neotropical medium-sized city (Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico) using a robust interpolation procedure (ordinary kriging). Our calculations added an average of 1,077,537 (± SE 172) butterfly individuals that dwelt in Xalapa in the surveyed space and time. The interpolation procedures showed to be robust and reliable, and up to some extent conservative. Thus, our results suggest that there are at least 1.8 butterfly individuals per capita in Xalapa. Notably, higher butterfly abundances tended to be recorded near highly vegetated areas and along city borders. Besides providing the basis for further ecological studies, our results will contribute to the crucial need of scientific data that is lacking, but critically important, for adequate urban management and planning, as well as environmental education. View Full-Text
Keywords: abundance; community; Papilionoidea; ordinary kriging; urban ecology; interpolation; citywide survey abundance; community; Papilionoidea; ordinary kriging; urban ecology; interpolation; citywide survey
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ramírez-Restrepo, L.; Cultid-Medina, C.A.; MacGregor-Fors, I. How Many Butterflies Are There in a City of Circa Half a Million People? Sustainability 2015, 7, 8587-8597.

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