Title: Charring does not affect wood infestation by subterranean termites.
Author: Peterson, Christopher; Gerard, P. D.; Wagner, Terence
Source: Netherlands Entomological Society Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Description: Fire is an important part of forest ecosystems, as is the insect fauna. Changes in wood brought about by fire may alter the ability of termites to use the wood, interrupting the decay cycle of woody debris. The ability of termites to find, infest, and feed upon wood after it had been charred was evaluated in the laboratory and field. Eastern subterranean termites, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), fed on char from burned wood had significantly reduced numbers of protozoa compared to termites fed on pine shavings, but significantly more than starved termites. The ability of termites to find and infest wood was not affected by surface charring. In a laboratory choice test, there were no significant differences in the onset of feeding by termites between charred and non-charred wood boards. Likewise in the field, no differences were observed in the time to initial attack by termites on charred and non-charred wood boards or bolts. Because termites will likely survive fires of low to moderate intensity, in most cases, there should be no disruption of the termite contribution to forest nutrient and carbon cycles.
Keywords: char, protozoa, fire, wood selection, Reticulitermes flavipes, Isoptera, Rhinotermitidae
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
XML: View XML
Peterson, C.J., Gerard, P.D., Wagner, T. L., 2008. Charring does not affect wood infestation by subterranean termites.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility