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Long-term effects of Macroternies termites, herbivores and annual early fire on woody undergrowth community in Sudanian woodland, Burkina Faso

Traore, Saran and Tigabu, Mulualem and Jouquet, Pascal and Ouedraogo, Sibiri J and Guinko, Sita and Lepage, Michel (2015) Long-term effects of Macroternies termites, herbivores and annual early fire on woody undergrowth community in Sudanian woodland, Burkina Faso. In: FLORA, 211 . pp. 40-50.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.flora.2014.12.004

Abstract

Termites, herbivores and fire are recognized as major guilds that structure woody plant communities in African savanna and woodland ecosystems. An understanding of their interaction is crucial to design appropriate management regimes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term impacts of herbivore, fire and termite activities on regeneration of trees. Permanent experimental quadrats were established in 1992 in the Sudanian woodland of Burkina Faso subjected to grazing by livestock and annual early fire and the control. Within the treatment quadrats, an inventory of the woody undergrowth community was conducted on termitaria occupied by Macrotermes subhyalinus, extended termitosphere (within 5 m radius from the mound base) and adjacent area (beyond 5 m from the mound base). Hierarchical analysis was performed to determine significant differences in species richness, abundance and diversity indices among vegetation patches within fire and herbivory treatments. Grazed quadrats had significantly (P < 0.001) more species and stem density of woody undergrowth than non-grazed quadrats but maintained similar level of species richness and stem density of woody undergrowth on termitaria. There were not significant differences (P>0.05) in species richness and stem density between burnt and unburnt quadrats. Termitaria supported a highly diverse woody undergrowth with higher stem density than either the extended termitosphere or rest of quadrats. The density of woody undergrowth was significantly related with mature trees of selected species on termitaria (R-2 = 0.593; P<0.001) than that on the extended termitosphere (R-2 = 0.333; P<0.001) and adjacent area (R-2 = 0.197; P<0.001). It can be concluded that termites facilitate the regeneration of woody species while grazing and annual early fire play a minor role in the regeneration of woody species. The current policy that prohibits grazing should be revised to accommodate the interests of livestock herders. (C) 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the ELSEVIER GMBH, URBAN & FISCHER VERLAG, OFFICE JENA, P O BOX 100537, 07705 JENA, GERMANY
Keywords: ANNUAL PRESCRIBED FIRE; WEST-AFRICAN SAVANNA; ECOSYSTEM ENGINEERS; TREE REGENERATION; RELATIVE IMPORTANCE; SEED-GERMINATION; SOIL; VEGETATION; MOUNDS; HETEROGENEITY
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2015 06:08
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2015 06:08
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/51397

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