Agricultural Intensification, Soil Biodiversity and Agroecosystem Function in the Tropics: The Role of Termites.

TitleAgricultural Intensification, Soil Biodiversity and Agroecosystem Function in the Tropics: The Role of Termites.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsBlack HIJ, Okwakol M
ContactAuthorasb@cgiar.org
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Volume6
Issue1
Pagination37-53
Date PublishedAugust 1997
KeywordsAgroecosystem function, Ecological processes, Farming practices, Termites
AbstractIn natural ecosystems, termites are typical ecosystem engineers and, in semi-arid ecosystems, often keystone species. It is thus likely that termites play a major beneficial role through promotion of essential ecological processes in agroecosystems in conflict with their well-established role as pests. This paper reviews the impacts of land clearing and preparation, cropping systems and management practices on termite diversity and activity. Current knowledge of the role of termites in agroecosystem function is discussed with reference to soil processes, vegetation cover, atmospheric gas exchanges and agricultural intensification. Methods for assessing termite diversity and function are outlined and priority research areas are suggested.
URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0929139396001539
DOI10.1016/S0929-1393(96)00153-9