n African Zoology - Determining termite diversity in arid Namibian rangelands - a comparison of sampling methods

Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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Three methods of sampling termite diversity in arid rangelands were tested in Namibia during the wet (March) and dry (October) seasons of 1998. Six sites were chosen: one pair on each of three farms representing a gradient of land-use intensity. At each site, two adjacent plots of 1 ha each were sampled: one plot by a modified standard transect system, with superficial ground-breaking, and the second plot by visual searching and/or baiting methods. All six sites were similar in climate, soil conditions and topography. A total of 11 termite genera was found, including at least 19 species. No sampling method recorded all taxa. The baiting method detected 69% of the taxa, and the soil-excavating transect and the visual search method 63% each. Some taxa were detected with one method only, and could be absent seasonally. All methods, therefore, were required to maximize a species inventory. More termite taxa were found on the commercially-managed than on the two communally-managed farms. More taxa were found at the perceived high-intensity land-use site than at the low-intensity land-use site on the commercially managed farm, the reverse being true on the two communally-managed farms.

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