Mound 1

Cathedral shaped mounds located in the Ivory Coast.

Species

  • Macrotermes bellicosus

Shape Classes

  • Cathedral

Location

GPS
8° 45' N, 3° 46' 60" W
Elevation
250m
Conditions
Savannah/Forest
Köppen Class
Aw

Climate

50C°

Warmest Month:35.9C°

Mean Temperature:30C°

Coldest Month:19.5C°

0C°

On average, 1080mm of rain fall here each year, with 478mm (or 44.26%) of that falling during this locations' wettest quarter.

Local Soil

The local soils are Plinthic Acrisols.
LocationSand [%]Silt [%]Clay [%]
1492333
ISRIC – World Soil Information, 2013. Soil property maps of Africa at 1 km. Available for download at www.isric.org.

Additional Notes

In this study, it was found that termites of the same species (Macrotermes bellicosus) can build mounds of different shapes according to differing local environments. Mounds were more dome-like when in the forest, and more cathedral-like when in the Savannah. This difference was attributed to the temperature difference caused by the shade in the forest.

Forest mounds were shaded and needed to be insulated to provide a more optimal environment for the fungus that the termites cultivate. However, it was found that this caused the mounds to ventilate less efficiently. Savannah mounds were not limited by temperature and instead were able to optimize ventilation.

Sources

Korb, J., and Linsenmair, K. E. (1999). "The architecture of termite mounds: a result of a trade-off between thermoregulation and gas exchange?" Behavioral Ecology, 10(3), 312.

Korb, J. (2003). "Thermoregulation and ventilation of termite mounds." Die Naturwissenschaften, 90(5), 212-219.

ISRIC – World Soil Information, 2013. Soil property maps of Africa at 1 km. Available for download at www.isric.org.

Hijmans, R.J., S.E. Cameron, J.L. Parra, P.G. Jones and A. Jarvis, 2005. Very high resolution interpolated climate surfaces for global land areas. International Journal of Climatology 25: 1965-1978.

Peel MC, Finlayson BL & McMahon TA (2007), Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 1633-1644.

Photo Source: Korb, J. (2003). "Thermoregulation and ventilation of termite mounds." Die Naturwissenschaften, 90(5), 212-219.