Influence of Soil Compaction on Tunnel Network Construction by the Eastern Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)
Authors: Tucker, Cynthia L.; Koehler, Philip G.; Oi, Faith M.
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 97, Number 1, February 2004 , pp. 89-94(6)
Publisher: Entomological Society of America
Abstract:Eastern subterranean termites, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), workers were introduced into arenas containing low, moderate, and high compaction builder’s sand (1.05 g/cm3, 1.18 g/cm3, or 1.35 g/cm3 bulk densities, respectively), and they immediately began tunneling. Termites built the tunnel network significantly fastest in soil of low compaction compared with moderately or highly compacted soil. In soil of low compaction, 221.67 ± 4.73 cm of total tunnel distance was constructed in 1 d compared with only 96 cm of tunneling in highly compacted soil. At 14 d, total tunnel distance averaged 216.83 ± 4.56 cm in soil of low compaction compared with 169.70 ± 4.10 and 181.18 ± 6.13 cm in moderately and highly compacted soil, respectively. Decreases in total tunnel distance between 1 and 14 d were caused by backfilling of seldom-used tunnels. Termites did the majority of tunneling during the first day of introduction into arenas. In soil of low and moderate compaction, termites essentially constructed the entire tunnel network within the first day, only modifying it by backfilling or maintaining tunnels. In highly compacted soil, 53% of the final tunnel network was constructed during the first day, 87% was constructed by the third day, and 97% was constructed by the seventh day. Soil compaction did not affect the number of primary tunnels or the number and diameter of secondary tunnels. The angle between the secondary tunnel and primary tunnel also was not significantly affected by soil compaction. However, the number of secondary tunnels in soil of low compaction (5.89 ± 0.51) was significantly greater than in moderately (2.74 ± 0.36) and highly (3.58 ± 0.59) compacted soils.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 1, 2004
- Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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