Characterization of firefly habitat using a geographical information system with hydrological simulation

So Kazama, Satoru Matsumoto, S. Priyantha Ranjan, Hiroshi Hamamoto, Masaki Sawamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Firefly habitat was estimated using a geographical information system (GIS) and hydrological simulation in the Natori River basin in Tohoku, Japan. To investigate suitable conditions for firefly habitat, the relationships between observed firefly habitat and physical environment, such as geological conditions, hydrological conditions and land use types obtained from digital maps were determined. Suitability criteria for firefly habitat were then defined based on habitat suitability index (HSI) estimation. We found that watershed areas smaller than 5000 m2 with flat plains (slopes less than 0.15) are ideal geological conditions for firefly habitat. Further, we found that non-urbanized areas with urban ratios less than 0.1, deciduous forests, agricultural lands, and paddy fields are the best land use types for firefly habitat. This evaluation also indicates that fireflies prefer to live in shallow and calm water environments (water depths less than 500 mm and velocity less than 1.0 m/s). The habitat locations determined by these criteria were validated by comparing them to field observations of firefly habitat. The results indicate that this model was successful in estimating the existence of firefly habitat in hydroenvironments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
JournalEcological Modelling
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec 16


  • Eco-hydrology
  • Freshwater biology
  • GIS
  • Habitat suitability index


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