The spatial distribution of termite activity in shortgrass steppe: a geostatistical approach

TitleThe spatial distribution of termite activity in shortgrass steppe: a geostatistical approach
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsCrist TO
Date Published1998
Call Number00718
Keywordsarticle, articles, geostatistics, termites, Gnathamitermes, journal, journals, kriging, spatial scale, technique, kriging, technique, spectral analysis, termite, activity, termite, gallery carton, termite, litter decomposition, termite, spatial variability, termites , SEE <Gnathamitermes>, topography, termites
AbstractThe broad-scale distribution of subterranean termites (Reticulitermes tibialis) was studied in a shortgrass-steppe ecosystem in northern Colorado. Termite occurrence and abundance was measured over 4 months at 10-m intervals along a 900-m transect that spanned a topographic gradient. Geostatistics were used to model the probability of termite occurrence along the transect, and to identify the distributional extent and potential roles of termites in shortgrass steppe.... Termites were most frequently found on a south-facing slope and in a lowland swale. Four-wing slatbush (Atriplex canescens) was also common in these areas and is important in the production of woody litter. The distribution of termites was significantly asociated with proximity to saltbush, which showed a strong spatial dependence at scales < 500 m. Kriged probabilities of occurrence and cross-correlation between termites and shrubs showed that peak termite occurrence was shifted upslope 100 m from areas of closest shrub proximity. Other factors, such as soil temperature, texture, or organic matter, are therefore likely to influence termite distributions in shortgrass steppe.
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