The importance of ants

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Although ants tend to cause rejection, they are insects that can teach us lessons and some are very important. In total, about 12,580 species of these hymenoptera have been recorded throughout the world. That is, there is twice the variety of mammals, which represents about 15% of the mass of living terrestrial organisms on the planet. But what would happen if these insects went extinct?

Next, in Green Ecologist we explain what is the importance of ants in the ecosystem and, in general, all over the planet.

The importance of ants in nature, what if they disappear?

The truth is that it would be catastrophic. If all the ants were extinguished the imbalance would produce a global chaos. Something that makes sense if we take into account that there are about 168,000 ants for each person, that is, they weigh the same as us. So they have their importance, and if there were no ants, the effect would be very serious.

Ecosystems would be badly damaged, they would deteriorate rapidly. Indirectly, the loss of other species would be enhanced. In a short time we would observe a huge accumulation of large quantities of corpses of other insects on the ground, since they would not have their food supply: ants. A) Yes, other species would become extinct animals as well as vegetables.

In short, the importance of ants is very high on this planet, since if they would happen the following:

  • The balance of the ecosystem would be damaged.
  • Organic matter would accumulate in the soils, which would take much longer to decompose.
  • Many other animal species would die.
  • Many plant species would disappear, which depend on the activity of ants to pollinate and reproduce.

What are the functions of ants in the ecosystem

Without ants, the planet would lose much of its biological diversity, as they fulfill a significant number of roles in the environment. So if you wonder what are the tasks of ants in nature, take note.

To start, scatter the seeds that fall from the plant to the ground, a process scientifically known as myrmecocoria. Without this type of organisms, plants could not spread, something fundamental because some species prevent the growth of more plants around them, so they must move away from each other.

It is true, this dispersal of seeds can be done by other organisms, but some plants need ants so much that they secrete a kind of mass called sweet elaiosome, which contains the seeds of some plants and whose function is to attract them to take the seed. on the way to the anthill. Without this help, many seeds would not germinate. Also, ants are able to pollinate. They do not fly like bees, but they can carry pollen to nearby plants, allowing the plants to fertilize.

On the other hand, they also control diverse populations of invertebrates. This is the case of predators, which ingest small insects or even reptiles. Near the tropics, any animal that doesn't fly or cannot go fast enough is preyed upon by legionary ants. At the same time, the non-existence of these living beings with three pairs of legs would greatly annoy arachnids, as well as some vertebrates, such as pigs and anteaters, who could no longer taste them.

The only good thing is that if the ants disappeared completely, surely more than one farmer would celebrate.

In summary, the functions of ants in the ecosystem are:

  • Disperse seeds, allowing new plants and trees to emerge.
  • Pollinating, which also allows plant life to reproduce.
  • Feeding on some insects and other invertebrate animals, which helps maintain species balance.
  • They feed on decomposing organic matter, so they help clean and take advantage of organic waste.
  • They are food for many animal species, such as anteaters, spiders, pigs, etc.

So, now that you know their importance, if you need to get rid of them in your home, do not eliminate them, but it is better that you throw them out of your house so that they can continue their life elsewhere. Therefore, in Green Ecologist, we recommend that you read this other article in which we detail some tricks to eliminate ants from the garden.

If you want to read more articles similar to The importance of ants, we recommend that you enter our category of Animal Curiosities.

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