Floresta e Ambiente
http://floram.org/article/doi/10.1590/2179-8087.011016
Floresta e Ambiente
Original Article Conservation of Nature

Soil Physical and Chemical Properties in Epigeal Termite Mounds in Pastures

Sandra Santana de Lima; Marcos Gervasio Pereira; Gilsonley Lopes dos Santos; Rafael de Moura Pontes; Anderson Ribeiro Diniz

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: We characterized soil physical and chemical properties and soil organic matter in epigeal termite mounds in pastures to evaluate the changes promoted by termites in comparison to an adjacent area. We selected seven active epigeal termite mounds in the municipality of Seropédica, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Soil samples were collected from top, center and base positions of each mound, at 0.50 and 1.50 m distance from the base of the mound. We identified individuals of the genus Embiratermes, Velocitermes, and Orthognathotermes. The humin fraction predominated over the humic and fulvic acid fractions both in mounds and adjacent soil. The amount of organic matter and the mineral fractions (mineral-associated organic carbon - MOC) varied among builder species. The studied chemical attributes point to a higher concentration of nutrients in the mounds than in the adjacent soil.

Keywords

isoptera, humin fraction, nutrient cycling

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