International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Global patterns of termite abundance

Martina Kuthanova, Martina Kuthanova
Department of forest protection and entomology, Czech university of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic ; Department of forest protection and entomology, Czech university of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic
Termites (traditionally Isoptera) are group of eusocial cockroaches living in complex societies.  There are classified about 3 000 species divided in nine families.  Termites feed on dead plant material and they are concerned in decomposition and carbon mineralization processes. Therefore, they considerably influence soil properties and structure.  Termites have settled in five continents of the world, from tropical rain forests of Africa to the moderate climates.  It is important to realize knowledge about abundance in worldwide context is rare, data are more focused on local environments or particular species, not only for the difficulty of such measurements.  For the formulation of global patterns of termite abundance, we quadrat sampling method  of Eggleton et al.(1995), the transect methods are recommended for biodiversity surveys as efficient with acceptable exactness.  Sampling took place in Cameroon, Ecuador, Papua New Guinea  from 2017. Studying area were divided to the grid and pits 20 x 20 x 50 cm (depth) were dug with 5 metre interval. Transects included material from the excavation up to 1 metre from the ground, hand-sorted, preserved in 80% alcohol.  All samples are determined and treated independently in so-called sub-samples. The number of termites in sub-samples were always counted. Subsequently, these samples were dried, and their weight scored.  All the data from fieldworks were scored in the matrix to be analysed. At first, we calculated the dataset from every depth layer from each grid always by two methods: converting the number of termites compared to their weight and then the number of termites to the total surface. Then we compared the distribution among all the grids and sampling locations.  We expect interesting outputs in large context which we would like to present at the conference.