Diversity and similarity of butterfly communities were assessed in five different habitat types (from natural closed forest to agricultural lands) in the mountains of Tam Dao National Park, Vietnam for 3 years from 2002 to 2004. The line transect count was used to record species richness and abundance of butterfly communities in the different habitat types. For each habitat, the number of species and individuals, and indices of species richness, evenness and diversity of butterfly communities were calculated. The results indicated that species richness and abundance of butterfly communities were low in the natural closed forest, higher in the disturbed forest, highest in the forest edge, lower in the shrub habitat and lowest in the agricultural lands. The indices of species richness, evenness and diversity of butterfly communities were low in agricultural lands and natural closed forest but highest in the forest edge and shrub habitats. The families Satyridae and Amathusiidae have the greatest species richness and abundance in the natural closed forest, with a reduction in their species richness and abundance from the natural closed forest to the agricultural lands. Species composition of butterfly communities was different among five different habitat types (40%), was similar in habitats outside the forest (68%) and was similar in habitats inside the forest (63%). Diversity and abundance of butterfly communities are not different between the natural closed forest and the agriculture lands, but species composition changed greatly between these habitat types. A positive correlation between the size of species geographical distribution range and increasing habitat disturbance was found. The most characteristic natural closed forest species have the smallest geographical distribution range.
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