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Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 197–208 | Cite as

Intermediate disturbance promotes termite functional diversity in intensively managed Vietnamese coffee agroecosystems

  • Kok-Boon Neoh
  • My Thi Nguyen
  • Vuong Tan Nguyen
  • Masayuki Itoh
  • Osamu Kozan
  • Tsuyoshi Yoshimura
ORIGINAL PAPER
  • 99 Downloads

Abstract

The intensive agricultural practices used in coffee plantations have profound impacts on invertebrate biodiversity. We surveyed termite diversity in the central highlands of Vietnam and evaluated it relative to the in situ ecological conditions of the coffee farms. Two survey sites were established at farms that were in place for 1 month and 1, 3, 5, and 25 years at the time of sampling. In addition, two models were tested: the diversity–resource relationship and the diversity–disturbance relationship. Our results demonstrated that the loss of termite diversity due to land perturbation in newly cultivated coffee farms may be as high as 86% compared with the nearest forested site. Only two feeding groups of termite (Group II and Group III) were present in the study sites. Termite composition of young and old farms was similar, but they only shared 48% similarity and differed significantly from the composition of the 1, 3, and 5 year old coffee farms. Understory vegetation cover and moisture content were positively associated with the occurrence of Group II and III termites but negatively associated with soil bulk density. Termite species richness did not increase linearly with the increased biomass production (plant litter) that is characteristic of old coffee farms. In contrast, termite species richness and occurrence were related to the intensity of farm management. Farms subjected to an intermediate level of management intensity due to annual crop cultivation recorded the highest diversity. Our study highlights the importance of annual crop cultivation to enhance termite diversity.

Keywords

Feeding group Biodiversity loss Species richness Coffee monoculture Soil-dwelling insects 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Yoko Takematsu (Yamaguchi University) for assistance in identifying termite specimens and anonymous reviewers whose comments greatly improved the manuscript.

Funding

This study was supported by the Large-Scale Research Program ‘Promoting the Study of Sustainable Humanosphere in Southeast Asia’ funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, 2011–2016 and the project (No. 14200117), Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN). K.-B.N. was an international research fellow at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10841_2018_53_MOESM1_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EntomologyNational Chung Hsing UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  2. 2.Institute of Ecology and Works ProtectionHanoiVietnam
  3. 3.Center for Southeast Asian StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Laboratory of Innovative Humano-habitability, Research Institute for Sustainable HumanosphereKyoto UniversityUjiJapan

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