A global review of termite sampling methods


Davies AB, Parr CL, and Eggleton P. 2021. “A global review of termite sampling methods.” Insectes Sociaux, 68, Pp. 3-14. Publisher's Version


Termites are globally dominant and functionally important soil organisms. While their role in ecosystems is being increasingly recognised and understood, methods that adequately sample termite communities across habitats can be challenging and have not advanced at the same pace as studies of termite ecology. Moreover, the appropriateness of sampling methods varies with habitat and biogeographic region due to differences in termite communities. Focusing largely on tropical systems where the majority of termites occur, we review currently available termite sampling methods and provide recommendations for sampling across different biomes and biogeographic regions. Active searching transects are most effective in rainforest habitats, whereas reduced transects, baiting and mound surveys are more appropriate in grassy systems and seasonally dry forests. Baiting is recommended for deserts. Recent advances in termite sampling, such as the use of remote sensing and DNA metabarcoding, and outstanding challenges, such as sampling episodic grass-feeding termites, are also discussed. Improved use of standardised termite sampling methods, as we recommend, should lead to increased knowledge of the patterns and drivers of termite diversity, which will, in turn, facilitate the quantification of the influence termites have on ecosystems and lead to new insights into the functioning of tropical systems.
See also: 2021
Last updated on 07/21/2021