Effect of biotic and abiotic factors on composition and foraging intensity of subterranean termites

Citation:
"Effect of biotic and abiotic factors on composition and foraging intensity of subterranean termites." African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology . 2011;5(8):579-588.

Abstract:

Elucidating the influence of ecological factors on composition and foraging intensity of subterranean
termites is critical in development of sustainable termite management strategies. Our aim was therefore
to analyze the effect of selected biotic and abiotic factors on composition and foraging intensity of
termites. We used principal component and canonical correspondence analysis to select appropriate
factors and to model relationships respectively. Macrotermes species occurred in sites where the
quantity of litter was generally above the mean. However, Macrotermes herus (Rambur) and
Macrotermes spp.4 occurred in sites where the litter quantity was below the mean. Trinervitermes
oeconomous (Tragardh) and Odontoremes spp.1 were noted to occur in the direction of increasing
quantity of biomass. Generally, most species occurred in sites where soil pH was above or slightly
below the mean (4.8). Majority of the species were also noted to occur in sites where bulk density was
below or slightly above the mean (1.55 g/cm3). Highest bait consumption (95%) occurred within a range
of 55 to 60% basal cover beyond which the amount of bait consumed reduced. Litter and biomass
quantity, pH and bulk density were noted as the most influential environmental variables determining
composition of termites while basal cover was the major determinant of foraging intensity.
Key words: Rangelands, Macrotermes, rangelands, vegetation, litter, biomass, basal-cover

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