Predicting ecological impacts of invasive termites

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17 Citations (Scopus)


There are 28 invasive termite species, most belong to two families, the Kalotermitidae (esp. Cryptotermes spp.) and Rhinotermitidae (esp. Coptotermes spp.). Six invasive termite species are known to have spread into natural habitats, but little direct research has been conducted into their ecological impacts. Predictions based on indirect research (natural durability of commercial wood species) suggest fast-growing, pioneer tree species with low density wood, perhaps notably legumes, are most vulnerable to invasive termites, but even slow growing climax tree species may succumb. Cryptotermes will likely have less ecological impact, due to small colonies attacking dead branch stubs in the canopy. Coptotermes will likely have greater impact, due to large colony sizes and nesting in living trees, which they hollow out and can kill. There are no studies of invasive termites on native termites, other wood-eating insects, or predators, such as ants, showing considerable scope for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-94
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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