Hello everyone. The 1st International Electronic Conference on Biological Diversity, Ecology, and Evolution (BDEE 2021) will be taking place soon (15–31 March 2021, online).I will present our work "Nest-building and wood consumption dynamics : the underground architecture of two Reticulitermes species ". by Dr. Laurence Berville, Dr. Eric Darrouzet.
We look forward to sharing it with you !
Animals can create controlled microhabitats using self-made structures. The most impressive are the nests of social insects (i.e., ants, bees, wasps, and termites). It is however difficult to study subterranean termite nests without using invasive techniques because the nests are built within pieces of wood and/or in the soil. Using computerized tomography scans and medical imaging software (OsiriX), we were able to observe nest creation, construction, and architecture over a several-month period in two Reticulitermes species: R. grassei, native to Europe, and R. flavipes, an invasive introduced from North America. Although the two species displayed some similarities (i.e., in nest creation, chamber size, and levels of wood consumption), only R. flavipes built interior structures with sand. Some of these structures changed over time and thus might play a role in the trade-off between wood consumption, colony protection, and environmental homeostasis.
Keywords: animal architecture, computerized tomography, nest, building behavior, consumption rate, Reticulitermes flavipes, Reticulitermes grassei, self-organized structures, social insects, extended phenotype