Termite (Isoptera) Diversity in a Gallery Forests Relict in the Colombian Eastern Plains

Olga Patricia Pinzon Florian, Loren Baquero, Maira Beltran


Termites are a key group for the dynamics of gallery forests in the Colombian Orinoco region, but have been little studied. Richness and relative abundance of termites found in protected gallery forest fragments within commercial forest plantations were quantified. Sampling was conducted at three sites surrounding the creeks “Huerta La Grande”, “Caño Claro” and “Caño Los Micos”, along linear transects 50 m long and divided into five 5 × 2 m plots; there were nine transects and 45 plots. Termite sampling involved the examination of fallen branches, pieces of wood in contact with the soil, arboreal termitaria, epigeal nests and soil samples 20 cm deep (four per plot). Thirty morphospecies, mostly xylophages from the families Termitidae (Apicotermitinae, Termitinae, Nasutitermitinae, Syntermitinae) and Rhinotermitidae (Heterotermitinae), were found. No association was found between richness or termite abundance and tree size, soil pH, soil organic carbon content or accumulation depth of leaf litter on the soil. The termite diversity and abundance found in fragments of gallery forest highlights the importance of maintaining this type of vegetation to preserve the ecosystem services derived from the biological activity of termites.


Keywords: Heterotermes convexinotatus, Microcerotermes, Conservation, Orinoquia, Species richness


conservation, Orinoquia,

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v64i1.1184


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