Effect of Some Physical Properties of Sap and Heart Wood for Some Forest Trees on Termite Feeding Preference Microcerotermes diversus Silv. (Isoptera: Termitidae)

Nazar M. Al-Mallah, Waleed A. Kassir, Shahin A. Mustafa


Studying the effect of moisture content, hardness and specific gravity of sapwood and heartwood of trees; namely (Platanus orientalis, Populus nigra, Cupressus semipervirens, Salix acomphylla, Pinus brutia and Eucalyptus camaldulensis) on termite food preference Microcerotermes diversus Silv. buried under the natural infection conditions, showed that there was no clear relation in termite food preference to the tested woods. The relative moisture content was between 11.10-22.43% for heartwood in eucalyptus and platanus, respectively. The values of hardness ranged between 3626.67and 5625.45 Nt. in both sapwood and heartwood of cupressus and platanus trees, respectively, whereas the specific gravity ranged between 0.46-0.74 for sapwood and heartwood of cupressus, salix and eucalyptus trees, respectively.
The lowest weight loss amount in wood due to termite workers feeding was 2.38 g in heartwood of pinus trees, while the highest weight loss amount in heartwood of platanus trees reached 67.33 g. The correlation values between the wood physical properties and the weight loss in wooden pieces due to termites workers feeding showed varied significant and non-significant values according to the type of trees and the type of physical properties of the wood. The correlation values between the amount of weight loss in the pieces of wood were positively significant and negative with specific gravity under natural infection conditions.


Termite, Weight loss, Sapwood, Heartwood, Physical properties, Hardness, Moisture content

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