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Revista Brasileira de Entomologia
Print version ISSN 0085-5626
SOUZA, Heitor Bruno de Araújo; ALVES, Wagner de França and VASCONCELLOS, Alexandre. Termite assemblages in five semideciduous Atlantic Forest fragments in the northern coastland limit of the biome. Rev. Bras. entomol. [online]. 2012, vol.56, n.1, pp. 67-72. Epub Apr 05, 2012. ISSN 0085-5626. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0085-56262012005000013.
Termites are abundant organisms in tropical ecosystems and strongly influence the litter decomposition and soil formation. Despite their importance, few studies about their assemblage structures have been made in Brazilian Atlantic Forest fragments, especially in the area located north of the São Francisco River. This study aims to analyze the assemblage composition of five Atlantic Forest fragments located in the northern biome limit along the Brazilian coast. A standardized sampling protocol of termites was applied in each fragment. Thirty-three termite species belonging to twenty genera and three families were found in the forest fragments. The wood-feeder group was dominant both concerning to species richness and number of encounters in all areas. In sites northern to 7°S, there is an evident simplification of the termite assemblage composition regarding species richness and number of encounters by feeding group. This fact is apparently due to a higher sandy level in soils and to semideciduous character of the vegetation in the northern fragments. Thus, even on the north of São Francisco River, termite biodiversity is heterogeneously spread with highest density of species in the portion between 07°S and São Francisco River mouth (10°29'S).
Keywords : Biodiversity; Brazil; feeding groups; Isoptera; Neotropical Region.