Effects of termites on infiltration in crusted soil.

A. Mando, L. Stroosnijder, L. Brussaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In northern Burkina Faso (West Africa), a study was undertaken to explore the possibilities of restoring the infiltration capacity of crusted soils through the stimulation of termite activity. Treatments consisted of the application of a mulch of a mixture of wood and straw without insecticides (resulting in ''termite plots'') and the application of the same mulch and an insecticide (Dursban with chloropyrifos as the active ingredient) to prevent termite activity (resulting in ''non-termite plots''). Three rainfall simulations of 60 minutes duration with an intensity of 50 mm/h at an interval of 24 hours between the first and the second and 72 hours between the second and third simulation were applied, to study the effect of consecutive showers on termite-modified soil characteristics. Cumulative infiltration amounts, final infiltration rates, soil water content and porosity were larger and bulk density was smaller on termite plots as compared to non-termite plots. This suggests that termites may be an important agent in soil-crust control and in the improvement of soil physical properties in Sahelian ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
JournalGeoderma
Volume74
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996

Keywords

  • burkina faso
  • crusts
  • hydraulic conductivity
  • infiltration
  • isoptera
  • seepage
  • soil

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