Termite sensitivity to temperature affects global wood decay rates

Zanne, Amy E., Flores-Moreno, Habacuc, Powell, Jeff R., Cornwell, William K., Dalling, James W, Austin, Amy T., Classen, Aimée T., Eggleton, Paul, Okada, Kei-ichi, Parr, Catherine L., Adair, E. Carol, Adu-Bredu, Stephen, Alam, Md Azharul, Alvarez-Garzón, Carolina, Apgaua, Deborah, Aragón, Roxana, Ardon, Marcelo, Arndt, Stefan K., Ashton, Louise A., Barber, Nicholas A., Beauchêne, Jacques, Berg, Matty P., Beringer, Jason, Boer, Matthias M., Bonet, José Antonio, Bunney, Katherine, Burkhardt, Tynan J., Carvalho, Dulcinéia, Castillo-Figueroa, Dennis, Cernusak, Lucas A., Cheesman, Alexander W., Cirne-Silva, Tainá M., Cleverly, Jamie R., Cornelissen, Johannes H.C., Curran, Timothy J., D'Angioli, André M., Dallstream, Caroline, Eisenhauer, Nico, Evouna Ondo, Fidele, Fajardo, Alex, Fernandez, Romina D., Ferrer, Astrid, Fontes, Marco A.L., Galatowitsch, Mark L., González, Grizelle, Gottschall, Felix, Grace, Peter R., Granda, Elena, Griffiths, Hannah M., Guerra Lara, Mariana, Hasegawa, Motohiro, Hefting, Mariet M., Hinko-Najera, Nina, Hutley, Lindsay B., Jones, Jennifer, Kahl, Anja, Karan, Mirko, Keuskamp, Joost A., Lardner, Tim, Liddell, Michael, Macfarlane, Craig, Macinnis-Ng, Cate, Mariano, Ravi F., Méndez, M. Soledad, Meyer, Wayne S., Mori, Akira S., Moura, Aloysio S., Northwood, Matthew, Ogaya, Romà, Oliveira, Rafael S., Orgiazzi, Alberto, Pardo, Juliana, Peguero, Guille, Penuelas, Josep, Perez, Luis I., Posada, Juan M., Prada, Cecilia M., Přívětivý, Tomáš, Prober, Suzanne M., Prunier, Jonathan, Quansah, Gabriel W., Resco de Dios, Víctor, Richter, Ronny, Robertson, Mark P., Rocha, Lucas F., Rúa, Megan A., Sarmiento, Carolina, Silberstein, Richard P., Silva, Mateus C., Siqueira, Flávia Freire, Stillwagon, Matthew Glenn, Stol, Jacqui, Taylor, Melanie K., Teste, François P., Tng, David Y.P., Tucker, David, Türke, Manfred, Ulyshen, Michael D., Valverde-Barrantes, Oscar J., van den Berg, Eduardo, van Logtestijn, Richard S.P., Veen, G.F. (Ciska), Vogel, Jason G., Wardlaw, Timothy J., Wiehl, Georg, Wirth, Christian, Woods, Michaela J., and Zalamea, Paul-Camilo (2022) Termite sensitivity to temperature affects global wood decay rates. Science, 377 (6613). pp. 1440-1444.

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Abstract

Deadwood is a large global carbon store with its store size partially determined by biotic decay. Microbial wood decay rates are known to respond to changing temperature and precipitation. Termites are also important decomposers in the tropics but are less well studied. An understanding of their climate sensitivities is needed to estimate climate change effects on wood carbon pools. Using data from 133 sites spanning six continents, we found that termite wood discovery and consumption were highly sensitive to temperature (with decay increasing >6.8 times per 10°C increase in temperature)-even more so than microbes. Termite decay effects were greatest in tropical seasonal forests, tropical savannas, and subtropical deserts. With tropicalization (i.e., warming shifts to tropical climates), termite wood decay will likely increase as termites access more of Earth's surface.

Item ID: 76403
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9203
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2022 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP160103765
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2022 02:31
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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