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Effects of Habitat Characterization on the Abundance and Activity of Subterranean Termites in Arid Southeastern New Mexico

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Abstract:Amitermes wheeleri was the most abundant termite species in most of the habitats. Gnathamitermes tubiformans was the most abundant subterranean termite species in habitats dominated by creosotebush, Larrea tridentata. Subterranean termite abundance measured by numbers of termites extracted from baits, mass of paper removed from baits, proportion of dung pats attacked, and quantities of surface foraging galleries all indicated that subterranean termites were most abundant in mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) dune and creosotebush habitats, and least abundant in grassland and shinnery oak (Quercus harvardii) habitats. Subterranean termite abundance was not affected by soil stability, but was affected by the dominant vegetation. Subterranean termites consumed more than 80% of the ceosotebush leaf litter from litter bags between August and December. There was no evidence that termites consumed shinnery oak leaves or grass stems and leaves.
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Citation:Whitford, W. G. Effects of Habitat Characterization on the Abundance and Activity of Subterranean Termites in Arid Southeastern New Mexico. SOCIOBIOLOGY 34(3):493-504, (1999).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Immediate Office of Division Director
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 09/19/1999
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