Application of distance–decay models for inferences about termite mound-induced patterns in dryland ecosystems uri icon

abstract

  • Although termites have been widely reported to induce heterogeneity in soil resources, vegetation and patch use by herbivores, little effort has been made to examine spatial patterns around mounds. In this mini review we re-examine published studies on the variation in soil properties, herbage biomass and herbivore foraging with distance from termite mounds with reference to distance-decay models. The analyses revealed a significant decline in soil clay and silt, soil nutrients, herbage biomass, grazing and browsing with distance from termite mounds consistently with distance-decay models. This has both theoretical and practical significance to our understanding of processes and resource degradation in dryland ecosystems where termite mounds are common. From a sampling perspective, our analyses imply that measured variables around termite mounds are spatially structured. Therefore, we advocate geostatistical model-based sampling as a framework in future studies on termite mounds. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2012
  • 2012