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Population Dynamics of Termites

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Abstract

The population dynamics of termites can be described according to the life history strategies evolved by the species in the different phases of colony life, though few studies have involved the search for patterns in termite life history, linked with the evolution of colony fitness. Dispersal is important for the successful establishment of the new colony, as well as reproductive isolation between species. Possible dispersion by budding is recently recognized The colony founding stage appears a very critical step for the future success, especially the balance of energy income with energy losses and the constraints faced by the first brood of workers. During the different phases of the colony growth, trade-offs are operating within the nest population. With colony sizes and caste dynamics, it is difficult to identify general patterns, due to variable reliability of data. Different methods have been adopted, from direct total sampling of the nest population to indirect estimates, including the mark-release-recapture method. The strategies of resource use within and between colonies are one of the major factors regulating nest density. Functional group assemblages and the territoriality of termite nests could explain their spatial patterns. Intraspecific competition, together with predation are major constraints in the population dynamics of termites.

Key words

  • Termites
  • nests
  • life-history
  • colony
  • biomass
  • production
  • demography
  • swarming
  • predation.

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Lepage, M., Darlington, J.P.E.C. (2000). Population Dynamics of Termites. In: Abe, T., Bignell, D.E., Higashi, M. (eds) Termites: Evolution, Sociality, Symbioses, Ecology. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-3223-9_16

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