Studies on the Status and Species Composition of Termites in Different Land Use Systems and their Management on Maize in East Wollega Zone Western Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


In Ethiopia, agro ecological based termite infestation emerged with the spread of invasive termite species. In response, various species and assemblage were come to exist in Ethiopia, western and Eastern Wollega areas since 1904. Therefore, continuous studies on various aspects are crucial in termite prone sites. Hence, the current study was aimed at species composition and status of termites in different land uses and their management on maize in east Wollega zone; Nunuqumba, Diga, Limu and Nekemte districts from August 2017 to December 2021.Qualitative survey using questionnaire was employed for data collection from 90 smallholders in each districts. Termite encounters are surveyed and identified. Data was analyzed using SPSS. For soil physicochemical analysis of four land uses and three patches in each land use having a plot size of (100 m x 100m) three mound in each patch and soil sample from 0-20cm, 20-40cm and 40-60cm mound position and adjacent soil in each patches was collected and composited from purposively selected sites in Fitbako kebele. The experiment was designed in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) in three replications and adjacent soil was used as a control. There are 16 treatments replicated three times. The sub-samples composited soil was analyzed with reference to National soil research center of Ethiopia. Cultivated land termite soil, adjacent and non-mound soil nnutrients composition and their effect on maize plant growth in the presence or absence of NPK in green house condition were experimented with soil collected at the depth of 0-30cm in which adjacent and non-mound soil were collected 5m and 20m away from the mound respectively. Maize variety BH-661 and NPK fertilizer were the materials .In the experiment three kg sample soil was added to each pots, the experiment was laid out in (CRD) with 12 treatments replicated three times and termite genera, termite mound, adjacent and non-mound soil physicochemical value , plant growth traits at 2,4 and 8 weeks and yield parameter data were collected and analyzed.For the determination of botanical efficacy on termite management the locally available botanicals , Croton macrostachys(Hochst), L. Jatropha curcas and Phytolacca dodecandra L leaves were collected dried under shade, grounded in to a fine powder, sieved and stored. The experiment was conducted on irrigation and rain fed field (3 mx7.5m) arranged in (RCBD) with four replication. Botanical powder 300 g was weighed and soaked in 1000 ml distilled water and filtered and collected to vii 200ml beaker, from the beaker 20 ml was powered to syringe and injected to each hole 10 days before planting and at different growth stages of maize and data of termites, galleries and mounds were recorded two days before planting and every two days after treatment application at all growth stages of maize plant and at harvest, maize cobs were collected and yields were analyzed. A total of 295 termite specimens collected were Termitidae in its four Sub families and nine genera. These termites are traditionally known and are high in low altitude of grazing land and low in high altitude of disturbed forest, Standard quadrat Survey also revealed high termite density (n), galleries and mound in grazing land followed by cultivated land and disturbed forest. They are recorded from Nunuqumba and Diga districts. Mound constructing termites improve mound soils texture and enable retaining of pH, OC, OM TN, P, K, Ca and Mg than Adjacent and Non-mound soil. Soil nutrients retain was contributed by Macrotermes, Pseudacanthotermes and Odontotermes. Nutrient rich mound soil favour plant growth and resulted in high mean plant growth trait at 2, 4 and 8 weeks, subsequently, grain yield weight of maize at harvest show significant (p<0.05) result than in non-mound soil. However, termites are regarded as pests of agricultural products and structures. Termite management relay on chemical insecticide and mound destruction. Botanical termite management involved , Croton macrostachys(Hochst), L. Jatropha curcas and Phytolacca dodecandra L leaf extract at the rate of 20ml/plant separately or combined used were deterring termites. The three mixed botanicals extract were more effective than two mixed botanicals. The present study concluded that agroecology and land use systems impose similar termite genera compositions to occupy similar location, study of termite agroecology and land uses therefore contribute to understand and plan termite management. Overgrazing due to high traffic of grazing animals favour abundant termite genera compositions in grazing land. The location and the red soil type of Nunuqumba and Diga districts favored termite prevalence. Mound Soil nutrient mixed with NPK induces extraordinary growth .Therefore, applications of NPK fertilizer on plots having termite mound is not recommended. Termite control with mixtures of plants such as C. macrostachys, J. curcas and P. dodecandra extracts can be used as part of an integrated termite’s management (ITM).



Agroecology, Croton Macrostachys (Hochst), ITM, Jatropha Curcas L. Land Use, System, Mound Soil, Phytolacca Dodecandra L.