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Termites: The Neglected Soil Engineers of Tropical Soils

Jouquet, Pascal and Bottinelli, Nicolas and Shanbhag, Rashmi R and Bourguignon, Thomas and Traore, Saran and Abbasi, Shahid Abbas (2016) Termites: The Neglected Soil Engineers of Tropical Soils. In: SOIL SCIENCE, 181 (3-4). pp. 157-165.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SS.0000000000000119


Termites are undoubtedly key soil organisms in tropical and subtropical soils. They are soil engineers in influencing the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils and, consequently, water dynamics in tropical and subtropical ecosystems. To appreciate the effect of termites on soil, there is a need for a thorough understanding of the ecological needs and building strategies of termites and the mechanisms regulating termite diversity at local and regional scales. Termite impacts on soil properties and water dynamics can be differentiated at four different scales: (i) at the landscape scale, where termites act as heterogeneity drivers; (ii) at the soil profile scale, where termites act as soil bioturbators; (iii) at the aggregate scale, where they act as aggregate reorganizers; (iv) and last, at the clay mineral scale, where they can act as weathering agents. Last, we discuss recent literature on termite engineering published in the last 10 years in the major journals of soil science and suggest new research topics that could contribute to improved knowledge of the impact of termites on soil properties and water dynamics.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: SOIL SCIENCE
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, TWO COMMERCE SQ, 2001 MARKET ST, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103 USA
Keywords: Termites; soil engineers; spatial and temporal scales; water dynamics
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2016 09:36
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2016 09:36
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/53918

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