Everaldo Gomes da Silva
Adelmar Gomes Bandeira
A survey of the termite species in Atlantic rain forest dominium at "Mata do Buraquinho", João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil was conducted to test the correlation among the abundance, vertical distribution of termites and soil abiotic factors. The method to capture termites was modified from the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility. Programme (TSBF). Five soil samples measuring 20 cm x 20 cm x 30cm were taken monthly, from August/1994 to September/1995. The animals were collected manually and preserved in 75% alcohol. Termites were found in 57 (95%) of the 60 samples taken. Twenty-five morpho-species were found, 96% belonging to the family Termitidae. The subfamily Apicotermitinae was the most speciose, followed by Nasutitermitinae and Termitinae. With respect to number of individuals, the dominant subfamily was Nasutitermitinae (43%). followed by Apicotermitinae (42%) and Termitinae Rhinotermitidae was rare and Kalotermitidae, absent. Embiratermes sp. B and Anoplotermes sp. A were the most abundant morpho-species, found in all months and with a wide distribution in the soil profile. The mean density of all morpho-species was 1,862 ind./m2. About 62% of the individuals of termites were found in the soil strata 5-10 cm (36%) and 10-15 cm (26%). About 58% of all termites were caught in the rainy season (March to August). The occupation of the soil profile by termites showed a tendency to vertical migration into the soil. However, this migration and the abundance of termites were not correlated with soil organic matter content, pH, temperature and moisture. Keywords: Abundance, Atlantic rain forest, Isoptera, soil termites, vertical migration. Descritores: Abundancia, Mata Atlântica Isoptera, cupins do solo, migração vertical.
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