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Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Quantification of termite attack on lying dead wood by a line intersection method in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia
Present address (Lene Berge): School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1UG, UK.
Present address (David E. Bignell): School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London E1 4NS, UK.
David E. Bignell, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
1A line intersection method was used to estimate abundance (technically linear abundance: m1 m−2), biovolume (m3 ha−1) and size class distribution (defined by diameter) of lying dead wood in tropical forest. Additional semi-quantitative protocols assessed decay state (4 classes), termite attack (5 classes) and live termite occupancy (3 classes).
2Three forest types (kerangas, alluvial and sandstone) were sampled in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve of Eastern Sabah, using plots of 30 × 30 m. Approximately 50 man-hours were required per site, at a replication of three plots per site and three well-separated sites per forest type.
3Mean biovolume of lying dead wood exceeded 8 × 103 m3 ha−1 in kerangas (= heath) forest, with lower values in other types. Large items (> 19 cm diameter) were less than 10% of total abundance, but represented the largest biovolume, exceeding (alluvial) or equalling (kerangas) the total biovolumes of smaller categories combined. Most items (not less than 75%) were present as small wood (< 10 cm diameter). Items in the highest decay class had the highest biovolume.
4Termite attack was greater in the kerangas, where nearly 90% of items showed evidence of consumption, compared with 58% in the alluvial and 40% in the sandstone forests. Over 40% of items in the kerangas contained live termites compared with 25% in the alluvial and 15% in the sandstone. Items in the highest attack class (= almost total internal destruction) represented about one-half of the total biovolume available in the alluvial and kerangas forest types, and about one-third in the sandstone.