Ants are the major agents of resource removal from tropical rainforests

Hannah M. Griffiths, Louise A. Ashton, Alice E. Walker, Fevziye Hasan, Theodore A. Evans, Paul Eggleton, Catherine L. Parr
  • Journal of Animal Ecology, August 2017, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12728

Ants are really important scavengers in tropical rain forests

What is it about?

We used an experimental suppression technique to see how much food resource was removed from old growth tropical rain forest. We found that half of the resource removal was by ants, a quarter by other invertebrates, and a quarter by mammals.

Why is it important?

It is the first study that has calculated the impact of ants on scavenging processes.


Dr Paul Eggleton
The Natural History Museum, London

We didn't think this would work, as we had lots of technical difficulties. But it did and it worked very effectively. Even we were surprised about the relative importance of ants.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Theodore A Evans, fevziye hasan, and Dr Paul Eggleton