Monday, February 28, 2011

Scientists Find How Density of Ants Relates to Ecosystem

Scientists at the University of Exeter found that ants have two great effects on the environment, by being both ‘ecosystem engineers' and predators. The scientists studied the impact of different combinations and densities of black garden ants (Lasius niger) and common red ants (Myrmica rubra). They found the ants affect the nutrients within the soil as they move the soil for colony construction and the ants prey on a wide range of other animals, including larger animals. These scientists found that a low population of ants within an area, increased the diversity and density of other animals, particularly herbivores and decomposers. However when the ants were at higher populations, they had no or opposite effects on the presence of other animals. This demonstrates the possibility that ant predation could cause a decrease in other animal species, which could have a negative effect on the ecosystem.

Photo of fire ants. Photo by Bart Drees, Professor and Extension Entomologist, Texas A&M University.

2 comments:

Inspector Clouseau said...

Interesting, very interesting. Makes sense when one looks at the bigger picture.

Nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the blue Nav Bar located at the top of my blogger.com site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.

zocy said...

The pilot of a chanel bags flight landing in a heavily when the aircraft landed to the runway. Airline chanel bags outlet regulations, passengers must stand in a long time the plane door in Chanel Rings the delivery of passengers with a Chanel Shoes smile: "Thank you on the plane." As the Chanel Sunglasses bad landing, he stood in the hatch, he said the New Chanel Handbags passengers could not see asdfaasf, afraid Chanel Tote Bags someone will laugh at Chanel Flap Bags him. All the plane, leaving only one Chanel Hobo Bags old lady on crutches. She said: "The Chanel Cambon Bags children I ask you a question?""Of course. Wife Chanel Travel Bags would like to ask you any questions?""We Chanel Backpack Bags are landing or was shot Chanel Luggage down?"