Historical landscape interactions and patterns of invasion by subterranean termites (Isoptera: Reticulitermes) in subdivisions of different ages
Metadata[+] Show full item record
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The subterranean termite genus Reticulitermes includes some of the most economically destructive termites in the United States, where it is estimated that costs associated with prevention and control may reach $11 billion annually. Despite their economic importance, there are large gaps in our understanding of subterranean termite ecology, due to their cryptic nature and the inherent difficulties of studying subterranean activity. In Missouri, subterranean termite communities differ between undeveloped forested and urban landscapes. Reticulitermes hageni Banks occurs in greater proportions than other subterranean termite species in forested landscapes, while Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) occurs in greater proportions than other subterranean termite species in urban landscapes. Thus, it appears that subterranean termite communities change as landscapes are converted from undeveloped to urban. It is not known, however, when Reticulitermes communities change in response to urbanization, or how termite populations invade subdivisions in an altered urban landscape. It is possible that resident subterranean termite populations are eliminated when soils are graded to prepare subdivision sites for construction. It also seems likely that colonies may respond to changing moisture and temperature regimes, or new biotic associations that accompany anthropogenic disturbances and altered landscapes. The purpose of this research is to examine how landscape factors are associated with subterranean termite communities and patterns of invasion as subdivisions are constructed and age over time. Subterranean termites were collected from 25 areas in Columbia, Missouri that were classified along a gradient of urbanization to include 1) undeveloped landscapes; 2) anthropogenically disturbed landscapes; 3) 10-year-old subdivisions; and 4) 20-year-old subdivisions. Subterranean termite communities were assessed by identifying species using PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphisms (PCR-RFLP). Because secondary reproductive
Access is limited to the campuses of the University of Missouri.