relationship between wood litter infall and relative abundance and feeding
activity of subterranean termites Reticulitermes spp. in three
southeastern coastal plain habitats
B. Gentry1 and Walter G. Whitford1, 2
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, 29801 Aiken, SC
(2) Present address: Department of Biology, New Mexico State
University, 88003 Las Cruces, NM, USA
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.
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.