Describing termite assemblage structure in a Peruvian lowland tropical rain forest: a comparison of two alternative methods

Date

2015

Authors

Dahlsjö, Cecilia A.L.
Parr, Catherine L
Malhi, Yadvinder
Meir, Patrick
Eggleton, Paul

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Publisher

Birkhauser Verlag

Abstract

Termites are frequently dominant invertebrate decomposers and bioturbators in lowland tropical forests and therefore strongly influence ecosystem processes favouring soil stability, porosity and nutrient retention. In this study, we provide the first spatially replicated dataset on termite assemblage composition, abundance and biomass in a Peruvian rainforest by sampling six separate plots. In addition, two alternative sampling methods (transect method-TM and quadrat method-QM), providing termite species density data, were compared among the plots. The relationships between a range of environmental and spatial variables and species composition were examined using canonical correspondence analysis variation partitioning. We found that the TM captured a higher proportion of the known species in the site (82 %) compared with the QM (66 %). In addition, 56 % of the species sampled by TM were common between the plots while only 18 % of species overlapped using the QM. The QM may therefore potentially have undersampled the species pool. Environmental variables were shown to explain a larger proportion of the species patterns than the spatial variables with elevation, soil temperature and distance to the river being the most important. We discuss the impacts of the environmental and spatial variables on termite species composition.

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Citation

Source

Insectes Sociaux

Type

Journal article

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DOI

10.1007/s00040-014-0385-z

Restricted until

2037-12-31