Effect of Fungus-Growing Termite on Soil CO2 Emission at Termitaria Scale in Dry Evergreen Forest, Thailand 10.32526/ennrj/19/202100048

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Warin Boonriam
Pongthep Suwanwaree
Sasitorn Hasin
Phuvasa Chanonmuang
Taksin Archawakom
Akinori Yamada


Termites are one of the major contributors to high spatial variability in soil respiration. Although epigeal termite mounds are considered as a point of high CO2 effluxes, the patterns of mound CO2 effluxes are different, especially the mound of fungus-growing termites in a tropical forest. This study quantified the effects of a fungus-growing termite (Macrotermes carbonarius) associated with soil CO2 emission by considering their nesting pattern in dry evergreen forest, Thailand. A total of six mounds of M. carbonarius were measured for CO2 efflux rates on their mounds and surrounding soils in dry and wet seasons. Also, measurement points were investigated for the active underground passages at the top 10% of among efflux rates. The mean rate of CO2 emission from termitaria of M. carbonarius was 7.66 µmol CO2/m2/s, consisting of 2.94 and 9.11 µmol CO2/m2/s from their above mound and underground passages (the rate reached up to 50.00 µmol CO2/m2/s), respectively. While the CO2 emission rate from the surrounding soil alone was 6.86 µmol CO2/m2/s. The results showed that the termitaria of M. carbonarius contributed 8.4% to soil respiration at the termitaria scale. The study suggests that fungus-growing termites cause a local and strong variation in soil respiration through underground passages radiating out from the mounds in dry evergreen forest.


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Boonriam, W. ., Suwanwaree, P., Hasin, S. ., Chanonmuang, P., Archawakom, T. ., & Yamada, A. . (2021). Effect of Fungus-Growing Termite on Soil CO2 Emission at Termitaria Scale in Dry Evergreen Forest, Thailand: 10.32526/ennrj/19/202100048. Environment and Natural Resources Journal, 19(6), 503–513. Retrieved from https://ph02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/ennrj/article/view/245082
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