Termites mitigate the effects of drought in tropical rainforest

L. A. Ashton, H. M. Griffiths, C. L. Parr, T. A. Evans, R. K. Didham, F. Hasan, Y. A. Teh, H. S. Tin, C. S. Vairappan, P. Eggleton
  • Science, January 2019, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • DOI: 10.1126/science.aau9565

Termites help rainforests during droughts.

Photo by Aigerim Kalysheva on Unsplash

Photo by Aigerim Kalysheva on Unsplash

What is it about?

We suppressed termites in plots in Bornean rainforest to examine their ecological roles. We found they were beneficial to the ecosystem, particularly during droughts.

Why is it important?

Termites are often thought of as pests. This paper shows that they are often beneficial to natural ecosystems.

Perspectives

Dr Paul Eggleton
The Natural History Museum, London

This required a lot of hard graft. I am proud to have been involved with such a great team - the Termite and Ant Research Team (the TARTs).

Read Publication

http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aau9565

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Paul Eggleton