Subterranean termites and long-term productivity of desert rangelands

TitleSubterranean termites and long-term productivity of desert rangelands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsWhitford WG
Date Published1991
Accession NumberJRN00141
Call Number00395
Keywordsarticle, articles, decomposition, termites, hydrology, infiltration, termites, journal, journals, pesticide, Chlordane, rangeland,productivity,termites, termite, soil organic matter, termite,decomposition, termite,productivity, termites, infiltration

Studies of soil properties, growth and species composition of vegetation, hydrology and patterns of organic matter removal were made on plots where termites had been eliminated and on plots with subterranean termites present. Subterranean termites affected all of the parameters measured. There was a negative correlation between termite abundance/activity and soil organic matter. Soils of termite free plots have lower infiltration and water storage but higher soil nitrogen. These soil properties have an effect on the species composition and productivity vegetation. The importance of subterranean termites as effectors of soil properties and vegetation suggests that these animals are key consumers in desert rangelands.