Ants as ecosystem engineers

In Read on March 7, 2011 at 7:25 am

Just a reminder that every day is Monday for an ant.  Work, work, work.  No weekends.

Today’s EDIMA post harkens back to our first ant post, which looked at the ways ants play surprising roles in the larger world around them.

Research at the University of Exeter has begun to describe how ants act as ecosystem engineers:

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.

UPDATE:  This just in from my photographer:

Ant farm. Week 2.

Ant farm. Week 2.


  1. That’s depressing. I’d rather be a decomposer.

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