Chongqing Museum of Natural History,Chongqing Museum of Natural History,Chongqing Museum of Natural History,Chongqing Museum of Natural History
This is our third article on butterfly communities in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area of the Yangtze River. Based on the findings reported in our previous two papers entitled "The occupied rate of microhabitats, sampled percentage of species and relative abundance of butterfly community in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area of Yangtze River" and "The diversity indexes, richness and evenness of butterfly communities in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area of Yangtze River", we report in this paper three parameters, namely the genus diversity index, family diversity index and hierarchical diversity index, of butterfly communities in this region. These indices are used to further investigate the biodiversity of the butterfly community and to help understand how the establishment of a reservoir would affect the ecosystem. The results show that the genus diversity index of shrub land was the highest of all vegetation types while those of farmland, which was similar with forest. It was 1.2158 in shrub land, 0.9006 in farmland, 0.8558 in forest, and 0.8235 in grassland. In terms of the genus diversity index, the microhabitats of shrub land contained four of the former six, that of grassland made up three of the last six. The family diversity index of shrub land was 0.7674, while those of farmland, grassland and forest were 0.5774, 0.5716 and 0.5503, respectively, and were therefore similar. Based on the diversity index values, shrub land seems to provide the most suitable habitat for butterflies. The hierarchical diversity index of shrub land was 3.2975, while those of farmland, forest and grassland were similar, being 2.5186, 2.3960 and 2.4059, respectively. Genus-level, family-level and hierarchy-level diversities were relatively high in shrub land and low in forest and grassland. The forest had the lowest hierarchical diversity, and coefficient of variation (CV) of this diversity index was the highest. The four habitats had significant differences in genus-level and hierarchy-level diversity according to analysis of variance. The diversity of shrub land was significantly different to those of the other habitats. Biodiversity was relatively high at the elevation of 500-1500 meters, suggesting that it is an important area for butterflies. The CVs of genus-level and family-level diversities were greatest in the forest; the CVs of four microhabitats were over 100% in the former and six were over 100% in the latter. One microhabitat CV in farmland was over 100% for family diversity and in grassland was over 100% for genus-level and family-level diversity. In shrub land, the CVs of diversity were all below 100%. The importance of forests to butterflies was found to be the most complex. Shrub land should be first selected as a target site for conservation, while grassland is the most unsuitable. The CVs of the indices for species, genus and family diversity in the forest were the highest because of the heterogeneity of the forest environment, which affects the butterfly communities. These findings indicate that the Three Gorges Reservoir Area is important for the survival and distribution of butterflies. Moreover, they show that the habitat of butterflies in the reservoir area is variable and fragmented, which will influence the diversity and evenness of the butterfly community.