To highlight human impact on biodiversity in the Lamto region, termites were studied with regard to their use as bio-indicators of habitat change in the tropics. Using a standardized method, termites were sampled in the three most common habitat types, i.e., in semi-deciduous forest, savanna woodland, and annually burned savanna, all inside Lamto Reserve and its surrounding rural domain. Termite species richness fell from 25 species in the Lamto forest to 13 species in the rural area, involving strong modification in the species composition (species turnover = 59 %). In contrast, no significant change in diversity was found between the Lamto savannas and the rural ones. In addition, the relative abundance of termites showed a significantly greater decline in the rural domain, even in the species Ancistrotermes cavithorax (Sjöstedt) (Isoptera: Termitidae), which is known to be ecologically especially versatile. Overall, the findings of this study suggest further investigation around Lamto Reserve on the impact of human activities on biodiversity, focusing on forest conversion to land uses (e.g. agricultural and silvicultural systems).
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Vol. 12 • No. 131