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Survey of termites in the Delta Experimental Forest of Mississippi

Wang, C.L., Powell, J.
Florida entomologist 2001 v.84 no.2 pp. 222
Reticulitermes, Reticulitermes flavipes, population density, foraging, logs, branches, stumps, dead wood, diameter, forests, surveys, Reticulitermes virginicus, subterranean termites, Mississippi
Termites were surveyed in the Delta Experimental Forest in west central Mississippi in 1998. Logs, branches, and stumps along three 200-m long, 6-m wide transects were investigated at each of the three study plots. Two subterranean termite species in the family Rhinotermitidae, viz., Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and Reticulitermes virginicus (Banks), were recorded. Reticulitermes flavipes was the common species and constituted 81.3% of the termite occurrences. Of the 685 pieces of wood surveyed, 16.5% had termites. The percentage of the two termite species varied among plots. The percentage of wood materials with signs of termite activity or foraging termites present was positively correlated with the diameter of the wood materials (R = 0.85). The chances of a log, branch, or stump being attacked by these termites increases by 1.3% as the diameter of the wood material increases 1 cm. The percentage of dead wood with sign of termite activity ranged from 11.6% to 67.2% among the sampled plots. Termites were significantly less abundant at Plot 3, which might correspond to a lower elevation and a higher soil moisture.