AVALIAÇÃO DO CONSUMO DE MADEIRA POR ESPÉCIES DE NASUTITERMES E MICROCEROTERMES (INSECTA, ISOPTERA, TERMITIDAE)
Most species of termites use wood in different stages of decomposition as source of energy. Nasutitermes corniger, Nasutitermes sp. and Microcerotermes sp. are among the most common species of termites in Atlantic Forest in Joao Pessoa, Paraíba State, Brazil. Quantification of their consumption was evaluated in experimental conditions by using test samples measuring 2 x 2 x 1 cm of four wood types. In general, woods undergoing decomposition process were preferred over sound ones. The average mass consumed by the three species combined was 6.7 mg of dry wood. g of living termites -1. day -1. Nasutitermes sp. showed the greatest consumption of wood, reaching 7.1 mg. g-1. day-1. It was also estimated that the dry mass of wood consumed by N. corniger in the studied Atlantic Forest could be 149.0 kg. ha-1. year-1. and that the thre especies together could consume 198.7 kg. ha-1. year-1. corresponding to 6.5% and 9.0%, respectively, of the annual wood litter production per hectare in that forest.
Keywords: Isoptera, termites, Atlantic Forest, Northeast Brazil, wood consumption, feedingpreference.
Descrltores: Isoptera, cupins, Mata Atlantlca, Nordeste do Brasil, consume de madeira,preferencia alimentar.
Os originais aceitos e publicados tornam-se propriedade da Revista Nordestina de Biologia, sendo vedada sua reprodução total ou parcial, sem a devida autorização da Comissão Editorial, exceto para uso de estudo e pesquisa, desde que citada a fonte.