SREL Reprint #0803

 

 

 

The relationship between wood litter infall and relative abundance and feeding activity of subterranean termites Reticulitermes spp. in three southeastern coastal plain habitats

 

J. B. Gentry1 and Walter G. Whitford1, 2

(1) Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, 29801 Aiken, SC
(2) Present address: Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, 88003 Las Cruces, NM, USA

 


Abstract
We estimated the densities of termites in dead wood using a point-quarter technique in four habitats: pine plantations subject to control burning and unburned, lowland hardwood forest, and turkey oak woodland. The burned pine plantation had the highest estimated termite density, 13×106·ha-1 unburned pine plantation and lowland hardwood had estimated densities of 2.6×106·ha-1 and 2.2×106·ha-1, respectively, and the turkey oak woodland had an estimated densities of 61.9×103·ha-1. There were varying percentages of Reticulitermes flavipes and R. virginicus in the various habitats. There was nearly linear increase in percentage of pine blocks attacked by termites in the pine and hardwood forests and by the end of the growing season, nearly all had been channelized by termites. In the turkey oak habitat 70% of the pine blocks were channelized. Termites removed between 3% and 12% of the original mass of over one-fourth of the pine blocks during the growing season.
Wood litter in fall was highest in the lowland hardwood forest: 2869 kg·ha-1·yr-1. Wood litter input in the long leaf pine plantation, 792 kg·ha-1·yr-1 was nearly equivalent to the three year average wood litter in fall in a Danish oak forest.

 

 

Gentry, J.B. and W.G. Whitford. 1982. The relationship between wood litter infall and relative abundance and feeding activity of subterranean termites Reticulitermes spp. in three southeastern coastal plain habitats. Oecologia 54:63-67.

 

SREL Reprint #0803 

 

 

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