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Deforestation and conversion from forests to other land uses, such as agricultural plantations, recreation parks or urban areas, have a great impact on butterfly diversity. In this study, we compared butterfly communities across five habitat types, i.e., open area, park, dry evergreen forest, forest edge and mixed forest in Chulabhorn Dam, Chaiyaphum Province, Thailand to examine the effects of land-use change on butterfly diversity and to determine which environmental factors were associated with butterfly diversity and distribution. Rarefaction analyses showed that open area had the highest species richness, followed by forest edge, park, dry evergreen forest and mixed forest. The ranked abundance distribution curves in each habitat could be fitted to the Zipf-Mandelbrot species distribution models. The parameter beta of the model suggests that there was different niche diversification among the habitat types studied. The dissimilarity of butterfly species compositions between each habitat type was compared by using the Jaccard distance. The dissimilarity was highest between mixed forest and the other habitat types. The constrained correspondence analysis (CCA) revealed that five environmental factors, i.e., degree of human disturbance, percentages of ground cover, percentages of canopy cover, number of vegetation layers and litter depth were associated with butterfly species distribution. From this analysis, two environmental factor gradients were observed in the ordination diagram biplot: the canopy cover-ground cover gradient and the human disturbance-litter depth gradient. The results emphasize the importance of maintaining environmental heterogeneity and habitat diversity in the conservation of butterfly diversity.
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