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Termites are known to take pollen and regularly visit flowers,177 so are regarded as potential pollinators for any number of flowering plants.178 One flower in particular, Rhizanthella gardneri, is regularly pollinated by foraging workers, and it is perhaps the only Orchidaceae flower in the world to be pollinated by termites.177
Many plants have developed powerful defences against termites. But, seedlings are vulnerable to termite attacks and need additional protection, as their defence mechanisms only grow when they have passed the seedling phase.179 Defence is normally accomplished by secreting antifeedant compounds into the woody cell walls.180 This reduces the ability of termites to efficiently digest the cellulose.
When kept near the infusion, they become disoriented and eventually perish.181.
Termite populations can be substantially influenced by environmental changes including those due to human intervention. A Brazilian research investigated the termite assemblages of 3 websites of Caatinga under different levels of anthropogenic disturbance in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil were sampled using 65 x 2 m transects.182 A total of 26 species of termites had been present in the 3 websites, and 196 encounters were listed in the transects.
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The wood-feeders were the most severely affected feeding team. .
A termite nest can be considered as being composed of 2 parts, the inanimate and the animate. The animate is all of the termites living inside the colony, and the inanimate part is that the construction itself, which is constructed by the termites. Nests can be broadly separated into three main categories: subterranean (entirely below ground), epigeal (protruding above the soil surface), and arboreal (built above ground, but always connected to the ground via shield tubes).184 Epigeal nests (mounds) protrude from the ground with ground contact and are made out of earth and sand.
Most termites construct underground colonies rather than multifunctional nests and mounds.186 Primitive termites of today nest in wooden structures such as logs, stumps and the dead parts of trees, as did termites millions of years ago.184.
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To build their nests, termites primarily use faeces, which have many desirable properties as a construction material. Other building materials include partially digested plant material, used in carton nests (arboreal nests built from faecal elements and timber ), and dirt, utilized in subterranean nest and mound construction. Not many nests are observable, as many nests in tropical woods are situated underground.186 get redirected here Species in the subfamily Apicotermitinae are great examples of subterranean nest builders, as they only dwell inside tunnels.
Nests and mounds shield the termites' soft bodies against desiccation, mild, pathogens and parasites, as well as providing a fortification against predators.188Nests made out of carton are especially weak, and so the inhabitants use counter-attack strategies against invading predators. .
Arboreal carton nests of mangrove swamp-dwelling Nasutitermes are enriched in lignin and depleted in cellulose and xylans. This change is caused by bacterial decay in the intestine of the termites: they use their faeces as a carton building material. Arboreal termites nests can account for as much as 2% of above ground carbon monoxide in Puerto Rican mangrove swamps.
Some species build intricate nests known as polycalic nests; this habitat is called polycalism. Polycalic species of termites form multiple nests, or calies, connected with subterranean chambers.107 The termite genera Apicotermes and Trinervitermes are known to possess polycalic species.191 Polycalic nests appear to be less frequent in mound-building species but polycalic arboreal nests have been found in a few species of Nasutitermes.191.
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Nests are considered mounds should they protrude from the earth's surface. A mound provides termites exactly the same protection for a nest but is stronger.189 Mounds located in regions with torrential and continuous rainfall are in danger of mound erosion due to their clay-rich construction. Those made from carton can offer protection from the rain, and in fact can withstand high precipitation.
By way of example, Cubitermes colonies construct narrow tunnels used as strong points, as the width of the tunnels is small enough for soldiers to obstruct.192 A highly protected room, known as the"queens cell", houses the queen and king and is employed as a final line of defence. .
Species in the genus Macrotermes arguably build the most complex structures in the insect world, constructing enormous mounds. These mounds are among the biggest in the world, reaching a height of 8 to 9 metres (26 to 29 feet), and consist of chimneys, pinnacles and ridges.56 Another termite species, Amitermes meridionalis, can build nests 3 to 4 metres (9 to 13 ft ) high and 2.5 metres (8 feet) wide.
The sculptured mounds sometimes have fancy and distinctive types, like those of their compass termite (Amitermes meridionalis and A. laurensis), which assembles tall, wedge-shaped mounds using the long axis oriented approximately northsouth, which gives them their common name.194195 This orientation has been experimentally shown to help thermoregulation. The north-south orientation causes the internal temperature of a mound to increase quickly during the morning while avoiding overheating from the midday sun.