Respiratory gas exchanges of termites from the Sabah (Borneo) assemblage

D., Jeeva and E., Bignell D. and P., Eggleton and Maryati Mohamed (1999) Respiratory gas exchanges of termites from the Sabah (Borneo) assemblage. Physiological Entomology, 24 (1). pp. 11-17. ISSN 0307-6962


Download (130kB) | Preview


Oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide release at 28 degrees C were determined in worker castes of twenty-six species of forest termites from the Danum Valley Conservation Area, south-east Sabah, by Warburg manometry. Metabolic rate varied inversely with body weight in a suite of soil-, wood/soil- and wood-feeding species, giving a slope (in a log-log plot) of -0.63. However, a number of large species, actively foraging forms such as Macrotermes malaccensis, M. gilvus, Havilanditermes atripennis and Hospitalitermes hospitalis, but also the wood-feeding Schedorhinotermes sarawakensis, showed an oxygen consumption greater than expected for their body weight. Rates of methane emission were above 0.100 mu mol g(-1) h(-1) in seventeen species, with very high fluxes in two wood/soil-feeders, Termes borneensis (0.546 +/- 0.163 mu mol g(-1) h(-1)) and Prohamitermes mirabilis (0.303 +/- 0.123 mu mol g(-1) h(-1)). Of the fifteen remaining species, seven were soil-feeders, five were wood-feeders, two were wood/litter-feeders and a single species fed on lichen and moss. Low or negligible CH4 emissions (< 0.100 mu mol g(-1) h(-1)) were observed in three other species, all wood-feeders. An apparent respiratory quotient (ROapp) was calculated using xCO(2) and XO2 (corrected for methane emission, but not hydrogen). Mean RQ(app) was at or above 1.00 in eleven species and between 0.95 and 1.00 in a further six species, the two sets of species together representing all trophic groups, including lichen-feeders. This is argued to be consistent with carbohydrate being the principal substrate supporting respiration.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Carbon cycle, CHâ‚„ emission, COâ‚‚ emission, methane cycle, respiration, Respiratory quotient, termites
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL1-991 Zoology > QL360-599.82 Invertebrates > QL461-599.82 Insects
Divisions: INSTITUTE > Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Depositing User: ADMIN ADMIN
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2012 16:36
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2017 14:04

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item