Termite activity in relation to natural grassland soil attributes

  • Kaschuk G
  • Santos J
  • Almeida J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Soil-feeding termites transport soil for mound building, and this
process can affect soil characteristics. To verify the influence
of soil termite activity on soil characteristics, samples were collected
from top, bottom and center of termite mounds, and of the adjacent
area, to assess chemical and physical properties and mineralogical
composition. Four replicates of termite mounds and respective adjacent
areas were randomly sampled in Lages, Capao Alto, Painel, Sao Jose
do Cerrito and Coxilha Rica (State of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil).
Results of chemical analyses showed a greater content of K, P, Ca,
Mg and organic C in the inner part of termite mounds, accompanied
by lower pH in relation to soil of the adjacent area. There were
no differences regarding clay mineral composition between termite
mounds and adjacent soil, however the proportion of sand and clay
differed between them. It is concluded that termites modify soil
characteristics due to great volume of soil transported per ascensum
for mound construction (varying from 20.9 m(3) ha(-1) to 136.6 m(3)
ha(-1), in this Study) which promotes a strong pedo-bioperturbation
and affects nutrient cycling and soil physical properties.

Author-supplied keywords

  • atividade de térmitas em
  • chemical and physical soil
  • clay minerals
  • cupins
  • de seus ninhos
  • de solo para construção
  • de solos sob campo
  • do solo carregam partículas
  • nativo
  • os térmitas
  • properties
  • relação a atributos
  • resumo
  • soil biology
  • termite mounds

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Authors

  • Glaciela Kaschuk

  • Julio Cesar Pires Santos

  • Jaime Antonio Almeida

  • Deise Cristina Sinhorati

  • João Francisco Berton-Junior

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