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Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 228–236 | Cite as

Termites and the soil environment

  • T. G. Wood
Article

Summary

Most termites use soil, together with saliva and faeces, to construct their nests. Nests may be subterranean, epigeal (mounds) or within or attached to the outside of shrubs and trees. Some termite nests are simple constructions and their internal microclimate is not much different from that in the soil. Other nests are often complex structures where temperature and humidity are closely regulated to produce a favourable environment. Above-ground nests are continually being eroded and reconstructed, which redistributes soil over the surface. The resultant disturbance of soil profiles, changes in soil texture and changes in the nature and distribution of organic matter appear to be more significant than changes in chemical properties.

Key words

Termites Nests Soil redistribution Organic matter Epigeal mounds 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. G. Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Overseas Development Natural Resources InstituteCollege HouseLondonUK

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