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The species richness of termites (Isoptera) under differing levels of forest disturbance in the Mbalmayo Forest Reserve, southern Cameroon

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 July 2009

Paul Eggleton
Affiliation:
The Biodiversity Division, Entomology Department, The Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD, UK
D. E. Bignell
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, Queen Mary and Westjield College, University of London, London, E1 4NS, UK
W. A. Sands
Affiliation:
The Biodiversity Division, Entomology Department, The Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD, UK
B. Waite
Affiliation:
Natural Resources Institute, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TB, UK
T. G. Wood
Affiliation:
Natural Resources Institute, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TB, UK
J. H. Lawton
Affiliation:
NERC Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College, Silwood Park, Ascot, Berks, SL5 7PY, UK

Abstract

Five forest plots of differing disturbance levels were sampled qualitatively for termites in the Mbalmayo Forest Reserve, southern Cameroon, using 100 m belt transects. Results showed a large reduction in species richness in two severely disturbed plots compared with a Near Primary plot, but little difference in two less disturbed regenerating plots; there is some evidence for a slight increase in species richness in the regenerating plots. Soil-feeders predominate in the primary and regenerating plots, but are greatly reduced in the severely disturbed plots. Wood-feeders appear to be more resilient to disturbance than soil-feeders, although their species richness is low in the most disturbed plots. The Termitinae are the dominant taxonomic group in the Near Primary plot, the Apicotermitinae in the less disturbed regenerating plots and the Macrotermitinae in the clear felled areas. There appears to be no secondary invasion of plots by savanna-associated species, and the small apparent increase in species richness in the less disturbed regenerating plots appears to be due to the influx of forest species usually associated with natural gaps.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995

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References

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The species richness of termites (Isoptera) under differing levels of forest disturbance in the Mbalmayo Forest Reserve, southern Cameroon
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