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Article

Spatial Distribution of Pollinating Butterflies in Yunnan Province, Southwest China with Resource Conservation Implications

1
School of Agriculture, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China
2
Institute of International Rivers and Eco-security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China
3
Yunnan Key Laboratory of International Rivers and Transboundary Eco-security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China
4
Shanghai Zoological Park, Shanghai 200335, China
5
Kunming Youning Biotechnology Co., Ltd., Kunming 650051, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Insects 2020, 11(8), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080525
Received: 11 July 2020 / Revised: 5 August 2020 / Accepted: 11 August 2020 / Published: 12 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Butterfly Biodiversity and Conservation)
Pollinators are important to the sustainability of human society, but butterflies are among the less studied pollinators. Yunnan Province in Southwest China is a region with high diversity of butterflies, but the pollinating species remain poorly understood. Understanding the species assemblage and spatial distribution pattern is the first step in forming a better resource utilisation and conservation. Using literature and museum records, our study identified 554 species of pollinating butterflies in Yunnan. Families Papilionidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae, and Hesperiidae are pollinator rich, while family Nymphalidae contains a relatively low ratio of pollinators. The zoning analysis revealed high species richness in tropical regions in South Yunnan as well as the topologically complex regions in Northwest Yunnan. Utilisation and conservation of pollinating butterflies in Yunnan should be emphasized with butterfly-friendly agriculture based on local traditions. Keeping butterfly attracting plants and unmanaged hedges with a diverse range of native grasses is also encouraged to achieve this goal.
Pollinating butterflies are an important asset to agriculture, which still depends on wild resources. Yunnan Province in Southwest China is a region with typical montane agriculture, but this resource is poorly investigated. From literature reference and specimen examination, the present study identified 554 species of pollinating butterflies (50.8% of the total butterflies) from Yunnan, with family Nymphalidae possessing the least number of pollinators (80 species, 16.0%), while the remaining four families are pollinator-rich (>73%). Tropical lowlands and mountain-valley areas possess higher species richness than those with plain terrains. The species richness of pollinating butterflies in Yunnan does not simply decline with the increase of latitude, nor is significantly different between West and East Yunnan. Zonation of pollinating butterflies using the parsimony analysis of endemicity (PAE) identified nine distribution zones and ten subzones. Most areas of endemism (AOE) are found in lowlands or mountain-valley areas, complexity of terrains, climates, and vegetation types are believed to be the main causes of such endemicity. The potential pollinating service of these butterflies could be great to montane agriculture with expanding areas of cash crops and fruit horticulture. Conservation strategies for pollinating butterflies may consist of preserving habitats and establishing butterfly-friendly agriculture based on local traditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: pollinating insects; area of endemism; parsimony analysis of endemicity (PAE); biogeography; resource conservation pollinating insects; area of endemism; parsimony analysis of endemicity (PAE); biogeography; resource conservation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, H.-H.; Wang, W.-L.; Yu, Q.; Xing, D.-H.; Xu, Z.-B.; Duan, K.; Zhu, J.-Q.; Zhang, X.; Li, Y.-P.; Hu, S.-J. Spatial Distribution of Pollinating Butterflies in Yunnan Province, Southwest China with Resource Conservation Implications. Insects 2020, 11, 525. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080525

AMA Style

Zhang H-H, Wang W-L, Yu Q, Xing D-H, Xu Z-B, Duan K, Zhu J-Q, Zhang X, Li Y-P, Hu S-J. Spatial Distribution of Pollinating Butterflies in Yunnan Province, Southwest China with Resource Conservation Implications. Insects. 2020; 11(8):525. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080525

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Hui-Hong, Wen-Ling Wang, Qi Yu, Dong-Hui Xing, Zhen-Bang Xu, Kuang Duan, Jian-Qing Zhu, Xin Zhang, Yong-Ping Li, and Shao-Ji Hu. 2020. "Spatial Distribution of Pollinating Butterflies in Yunnan Province, Southwest China with Resource Conservation Implications" Insects 11, no. 8: 525. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080525

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