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Insects 2019, 10(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10030060

Termite Ecology in the First Two Decades of the 21st Century: A Review of Reviews

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Termites)
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Abstract

Termite ecology came of age in 1978 with the seminal review of Wood and Sands which by considering the quantitative contributions made by termites to the carbon cycle at the landscape level concluded that they were major players in tropical ecosystems. Subsequent field work in the succeeding two decades was summarised in 2000 by Bignell and Eggleton, the most recent review which attempted to cover the entire topic in detail, which included 188 listed references and has been extensively cited for almost 20 years. Subsequent summaries more narrowly defined or in some cases more superficial are listed in the bibliography. In this overview, the main and subsidiary headings in Bignell and Eggleton are revisited and reclassified in the light of 186 selected articles added to the relevant literature since 2000, and some earlier work. While the literature on termite ecology remains buoyant, it has declined relative to publications on other aspects of termite biology. Overall, the thesis that termites have a major impact on, and are major indicators of soil health and landscape integrity in the tropics and sub-tropics is maintained, but the drivers of local diversity, abundance and biomass remain complex, with many biographical, edaphic and optimum sampling issues not completely resolved. The large increase in diversity and abundance data from Neotropical biomes can also be noted. View Full-Text
Keywords: termite literature; Web of ScienceTM; ecosystem services; assemblage data; termite constructions; pedogenesis termite literature; Web of ScienceTM; ecosystem services; assemblage data; termite constructions; pedogenesis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Bignell, D.E. Termite Ecology in the First Two Decades of the 21st Century: A Review of Reviews. Insects 2019, 10, 60.

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