Spatial distribution of butterflies in accordance with climate change in the Korean Peninsula

Sangdon Lee, Hyeyoung Jeon, Minkyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The effects of climate change are becoming apparent in the biosphere. In the 20th century, South Korea experienced a 1.5 °C temperature increase due to rapid industrialization and urbanization. If the changes continue, it is predicted that approximately 15-37% of animal and plant species will be endangered after 2050. Because butterflies act as a good indicator for changes in the temperature, the distribution of butterflies can be used to determine their adaptability to climate patterns. Local meteorological data for the period 1938-2011 were used from the National Forest Research Institute of Korea. Local temperature data were additionally considered among the basic information, and the distribution patterns of butterflies were analyzed for both the southern and northern regions. Southern butterflies (with northern limit) tend to increase in number with significant correlation between the temperature and number of habitats (p < 0.000), while northern butterflies (with southern limit) show no statistical significance between the temperature and number of habitats, indicating their sensitivity to temperature change. This finding is in accordance with the conclusion that southern butterflies are more susceptible to climate change when adapting to local environments and expanding their original temperature range for survival, which leads to an increase in the numbers of their habitats.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1995
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Butterflies
  • Global warming
  • Habitat shift
  • Northern species
  • Spatial distribution


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