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A Comparison on termite assemblages in coffee & teak plantations and semi-evergreen forest - a case study in North Wayanad, Kerala, India

Authors:

K.V. Bhavana ,

Kannur University, IN
About K.V.
Department of Zoology
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Amina Poovoli,

Western Ghat Regional Centre, IN
About Amina
Zoological Survey of India
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K. Rajmohana,

Western Ghat Regional Centre, IN
About K.
Zoological Survey of India
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M. Shweta

Western Ghat Regional Centre, IN
About M.
Zoological Survey of India
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Abstract

In tropical ecosystems, termites as organic decomposers, play a key role in modifying the biotic and abiotic environment. The present study aimed to investigate how the termite diversity and assemblages differed among habitats. Three sites in North Wayanad, Kerala, India,- a teak plantation, a coffee plantation and a semi-evergreen forest, that were structurally different and with varying land use histories- were chosen for this study. Belt transect method was used to sample the termites. The study recorded a total of 10 species in 7 genera belonging to 4 subfamilies under one family. Termite assemblages and feeding group structure differed significantly among habitats. Two functional groups were recorded- Type II (fungus growing wood feeders/litter feeders, micro epiphytes) and Type III (organic rich soil feeders/ humus feeders). Fungus growing wood/litter feeders were dominant in plantations whereas organic rich soil/humus feeders were dominant in forest region. Plantations seem to host more, species like Odontotermes obesus Rambur, Odontotermes anamallensis Holmgren and Holmgren and Odontotermes yadevi Thakur, the species being good colonizers, favoured by disturbance and also those with the potential of becoming pests. The species diversity, richness, evenness as well as beta diversity were computed for the three habitats. Assemblages of species from the teak and coffee plantations yielded the highest similarity index (42%). Overall, the termite assemblages and structural attributes of coffee & teak plantations and semi-evergreen forest advocated termites as good biological indicators of habitat quality.

 

Tropical Agricultural Research Vol. 26 (3): 456 – 467 (2015)

How to Cite: Bhavana, K.V. et al., (2015). A Comparison on termite assemblages in coffee & teak plantations and semi-evergreen forest - a case study in North Wayanad, Kerala, India. Tropical Agricultural Research. 26(3), pp.456–467. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v26i3.8109
Published on 20 Nov 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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