The effects of clearing and grazing on the termite fauna (Isoptera) of tropical savannas and woodlands

  • T. G. Wood
Part of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences book series (TPCI)


It has been recognised for a long time that termites are one of the dominant groups of invertebrates in the tropics. In spite of the fact that their geographical range (45–48°N to 45°S) includes two-thirds of the earth’s land surface they have received little attention from soil biologists. For instance, only recently (Lee & Wood 1971a, 1971b) has it been shown that there is little truth in the widely held belief (probably initiated by Drummond, 1886) that in tropical soils they play a similar role to that of earthworms in temperate soils. There are many differences and few similarities between the effects of these two groups on soils and a further difference is that some species of termites are significant pests (Harris, 1969). Again, in contrast to the wealth of quantitative information on soil invertebrates in temperate regions the available data on termite populations is largely qualitative, quantitative data is available for only a few selected species or groups of species and there is no estimate of the total numbers of termites in any one habitat.


Ivory Coast Tropical Soil Termite Mound Subterranean Termite Savanna Woodland 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. G. Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Termite Research UnitCentre for Overseas Pest ResearchLondonUK

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