Navigation Links
Ants' ecosystem role is 'key'
Date:1/31/2011

Research by the University of Exeter has revealed that ants have a big impact on their local environment as a result of their activity as 'ecosystem engineers' and predators.

The study, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, found that ants have two distinct effects on their local environment.

Firstly, through moving of soil by nest building activity and by collecting food they affect the level of nutrients in the soil. This can indirectly impact the local populations of many animal groups, from decomposers such as Collembola, to species much higher up the food chain.

Secondly, they prey on a wide range of other animals, including larger prey which can be attacked by vast numbers of ant workers.

Dirk Sanders, an author of the study from the university's Centre for Ecology and Conservation, said: "Ants are very effective predators which thrive in huge numbers. They're also very territorial and very aggressive, defending their resources and territory against other predators. All of this means they have a strong influence on their surrounding area.

"In this research, we studied for the first time how big this impact is and the subtleties of it. What we found is that despite being predators, their presence can also lead to an increase in density and diversity of other animal groups. They genuinely play a key role in the local environment, having a big influence on the grassland food web."

The study, carried out in Germany, studied the impact of the presence of different combinations and densities of black garden ants (Lasius niger) and common red ants (Myrmica rubra), both species which can be found across Europe, including in the UK.

It found that a low density of ants in an area increased the diversity and density of other animals in the local area, particularly the density of herbivores and decomposers. At higher densities ants had no or the opposite effect, showi
'/>"/>

Contact: Daniel Williams
d.d.williams@exeter.ac.uk
44-139-272-2062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Air laser may sniff bombs, pollutants from a distance
2. Fast growth, low defense -- plants facing a dilemma
3. Forest Service offers free guide to managing invasive plants
4. First study of dispersants in Gulf spill suggests a prolonged deepwater fate
5. Nearly 10 million euros ($13.6 million) in ERC grants for 6 Technische Universitaet Muenchen researchers
6. New study of environmental contaminants in breast milk
7. UC Davis study shows plants moved downhill, not up, in warming world
8. Gene helps plants use less water without biomass loss
9. New book highlights the cellular and molecular determinants of brain wiring
10. Filtering kitchen wastewater for plants
11. Can bedding plants thrive with recycled water?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Ants' ecosystem role is 'key'
(Date:9/16/2014)... What motivates consumers to make ethical choices such as ... more money on fair-trade coffee, and bringing their own ... study in the Journal of Consumer Research , ... to turn their emotions about unethical practices into action. ... consider the environmental and human costs of the products ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... Ill. , Sept. 16, 2014 As ... to make important decisions about their 2015 benefits. According ... and health solutions business of Aon plc ... to take a more proactive role in managing their ... important than ever for individuals to understand how they ...
(Date:9/15/2014)... division has evolved a simple, mechanical solution to ... Sept. 11 Science Express. ... and misalignments that lead to infertility, miscarriage, or ... division cause these problems, but what exactly goes ... of the Wellcome Trust Center for Cell Biology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Why are consumers willing to spend more money on ethical products? 2Aon Hewitt Provides Tips to Help Workers Prepare for the Upcoming Open Enrollment Season 2Aon Hewitt Provides Tips to Help Workers Prepare for the Upcoming Open Enrollment Season 3Aon Hewitt Provides Tips to Help Workers Prepare for the Upcoming Open Enrollment Season 4Aon Hewitt Provides Tips to Help Workers Prepare for the Upcoming Open Enrollment Season 5Aon Hewitt Provides Tips to Help Workers Prepare for the Upcoming Open Enrollment Season 6Aon Hewitt Provides Tips to Help Workers Prepare for the Upcoming Open Enrollment Season 7Cells simply avoid chromosome confusion 2Cells simply avoid chromosome confusion 3
... is available in German . , ... of the extended cultivation of energy crops. Scientists have ... impacts and comparing the effectiveness of strategies for the ... of bioenergy leads to problems to biological diversity in ...
... The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG); the Missouri ... Kew); and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) have ... online catalog of the world,s plantsby the year 2020. ... on up to 400,000 plant species worldwide. It will ...
... DIEGO ,Brain freeze, is a nearly universal experiencealmost everyone has ... ice cream or slurp of ice-cold soda on the upper ... this phenomenon. Since migraine sufferers are more likely to experience ... brain freeze may share a common mechanism with other types ...
Cached Biology News:How the ecological risks of extended bioenergy production can be reduced 2How the ecological risks of extended bioenergy production can be reduced 3Putting plants online: 4 leading botanical gardens to create first online catalog of all plants 2Putting plants online: 4 leading botanical gardens to create first online catalog of all plants 3Changes in brain's blood flow could cause 'brain freeze' 2Changes in brain's blood flow could cause 'brain freeze' 3
(Date:9/15/2014)... (PRWEB) September 15, 2014 Bioptigen ... deep imaging OCT system for the optical device metrology ... EnvisuTM S4410 SDOCT for Contact Lens Metrology ... standard and high complexity contact lens, IOL structures, and ... of a complete contact lens immersed in a hydration ...
(Date:9/15/2014)... 15, 2014  iVinci Health LLC, the company behind ... Management system, branded as VisitPay®, has successfully closed $5 ... launch of a new extension to VisitPay® – an ... and convenient way for patients to manage their medical ... them and their families. The new round ...
(Date:9/15/2014)... 15, 2014 The chemistry, taste, and health effects ... new article published by the nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC). ... change and its effects on the phytochemical compounds in tea ... conducted by Dr. Ahmed in the Yunnan ... has implications for the future of medicinal botanicals. Dr. Ahmed,s ...
(Date:9/15/2014)... 15. September 2014 Die zweite jährliche ... vom 12. bis 18. Oktober stattfinden. Die IPAW ... Therapeutics Association (PPTA) und ihrer Mitgliedsunternehmen ... Das globale Bewusstsein für die Gewinnung von Quellplasma ... beim Retten und Verbessern von Leben zu würdigen ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Bioptigen Introduces Deep Imaging OCT System for Contact Lens Metrology 2iVinci Health Raises $5M to Fuel National Expansion, Announces Launch of Personal Finance Portal for Healthcare 2iVinci Health Raises $5M to Fuel National Expansion, Announces Launch of Personal Finance Portal for Healthcare 3Tea Taste and Quality Affected by Climate Change 2Tea Taste and Quality Affected by Climate Change 3Tea Taste and Quality Affected by Climate Change 4International Plasma Awareness Week feiert Spender und rückt seltene Krankheiten in den Mittelpunkt 2International Plasma Awareness Week feiert Spender und rückt seltene Krankheiten in den Mittelpunkt 3
... of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring in Northern California, publishes the ... The ORIMtec Neurotechnologist Reference Guide is a comprehensive resource ... monitoring tasks. , ... ...
... 11 Signalife,Inc. (Amex: SGN ) announced ... its previously-announced merger or similar business combination with,Heart ... has been,appointed to proceed with due diligence and ... presently contemplated, a new parent,company will be established ...
... 11 Sigma-Aldrich Corporation,(Nasdaq: SIAL ), will ... results on Wednesday, July 23, 2008, at 11:00 ... call is being webcast by Thomson/CCBN and can ... ., The webcast is also being ...
Cached Biology Technology:ORIMtec Releases Industry's First Intraoperative Monitoring Reference Guide for Neurotechnologists 2Signalife Board Approves Merger 2Signalife Board Approves Merger 3Sigma-Aldrich Corporation's 2nd Quarter 2008 Earnings Conference Call 2
Immunogen: Secretory component isolated from human colostrum. Storage: 4 C...
... PinPoint™ Vector Sequencing Primer is designed for ... Vectors (Cat.# V2031, V2051, V2061). The primer ... at nucleotides 325343, approximately 4050 base pairs ... can be used to determine if an ...
Negative Control, eluted and packaged aseptically in 20l of 10mM Tris-HCL, pH 8.0, 1 mM EDTA, 5 years at either 4°C or -20°C...
Medium for cryopreserving subcutaneous or omental preadipocytes...
Biology Products: