May 19, 2022

Th Reason Termites Buried In Oil Palm Plantations

Termite treatment canggu – Students display a photo of an open drawer while explaining research on termites in a daring seminar with the Indonesian Science Journalist Society (SISJ), at the end of April 2021.

In the drawer there is a row of mini-dimensional mirror tubes aka vials. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) researchers incubate nests and termites – ex situ method – in the laboratory. Incubation treatment also familiarizes the termites.

“We collect (generated) gas from these termites in vials,” the student, a researcher from CIFOR, said. Next, he added, the termite light substance was linked to gas chromatography to observe the contents. “In fact termites increase N2O (nitrogen oxide) emissions very large in oil palm plantations,” he said. He added that termites produce nitrous oxide emissions in mineral soils of the tropics.

The comments were the result of CIFOR’s research on oil palm plantations in the Pasir Mayang Village area, Jambi. CIFOR studied for 6 years, lasting from 2010 to 2016. The research team selected the smallholder plantations because the treatments tend to be less intensive. “There is not much use of insecticides (insect killer drugs),” he said.

Read more: Be careful of the signs of termites on your home furniture

Research has identified nest densities and populations of termites. Termites consist of various species that are also related to their diet. There are termites that eat soil mixed with organisms and some that eat wood. The student explained, the type of food affects the microorganisms that live in the digestive tract of termites.” Such microorganisms are responsible for creating mirror house gases.

The Daily Life Learning entitled Isolation and Biochemical Test of Cellulolytic Germs from the Digestive Tract of Worker Termites (2016) explained that termites degrade cellulose organic compounds. The digestive tract of termites contains microorganisms in the form of interactions of living things (symbionts) such as bacteria and protozoa. Microorganisms in the digestive tract provide ammonia, because termite food is a low-nitrogen type. There is also the matter of the manufacture of methane by microbes, termites are one of those that give rise to the greenhouse gases. The trend is at the base of 5 percent of total methane emissions.

During the research, CIFOR also focused on plantations with 8-year-old oil palm plantations. There is also a young type of soil or inceptisol, meaning that the solum is rather thick and the layer is loose. Oil palm plantations on the land amounted to 143 plants per hectare. Research on plantations – the in situ method – looks at emissions during both dry and rainy periods. Retrieval of termites in each position through transect mapping for 100 m.

CIFOR considers the conversion of forests to oil palm plantations to increase the emission of nitrous oxide and methane (CH4) because the monoculture system of these plantations has disrupted biological diversity. Research shows, when forests are replaced, the termite population increases. Termite bodies are also increasingly swollen, because there is no longer variety for the availability of insect food.

The paper that was incorporated in the Proceedings of the National Seminar (2010) entitled Population and Invasion of Termites (Coptotermes Curvignathus) in Rubber Plantation in South Sumatra explained that termites invaded oil palm plants because of cellulose, which is the main food content. The cellulose content of oil palm trunks reaches 25.88 percent. There is also hemicellulose 16.40 percent and holocellulose 42.28 percent. Because of that, termites are the dominant pests that attack oil palm plants.

Regarding methane emissions, the student said, in fact, without changing land use, chemical compounds are indeed present in the forest, but biological diversity prevents methane from spreading in the air. In the forest, said the student, the emergence of methane is due to processes that occur in the soil, among others, influenced by the interaction of plant roots or the life of microorganisms.

read more: Be careful of the signs of termites on your home furniture

The Fact Conclusion From The News

When the forest is changed to monoculture, the soil no longer absorbs methane which eventually spreads to the atmosphere. Even though the emission is small, it does not mean that methane and nitrous oxide are harmless. “Methane and nitrous oxide stay longer in the atmosphere,” said the student.

Emissions of nitrous oxide and methane tend to be negligible. The levels are small from the total mirror house gas emissions caused by deforestation. Dinitrogen oxide has 300 times the effect of capturing heat in the atmosphere. That’s when compared to carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. “Methane is 25 times more efficient,” said CIFOR scientist Kristell Hergoualc’ h, quoted on the website of the organization studying the area.

The presence of insects in oil palm plantations is influenced by air, temperature, acidity (pH), humidity, and the seriousness of light, quoting from the novel Introduction to Insect Lessons (1992). From the totality of these factors, temperature and humidity greatly affect the growth and behavior of insects.

There is also the activity of termites as pests that occur when the natural habitat changes drastically. This causes certain termite species to get used to this change, referring to the explanation in the novel Termite: Hayati and Its Control (2015).

The post contained on the website of the Pontianak Plantation Plant Protection Agency (BPTP) explained that the percentage of termite attacks on oil palm plants was greater than rubber or sengon. The percentage of termite attacks on oil palm plants reaches 10.8 percent. There were also termites attacking rubber plants 7.4 percent and sengon 7.46 percent, as reported by a post on the website entitled Palm Oil Termite Pest Control in Sekek Hamlet, Palaheng Village, Toho District, Mampawah Regency, published November 27, 2020.

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