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Ants and Plants- An Example of Mutual Co-operation




We often ignore various things present around us because their presence does not seem important to us. Ant is also a great example of that. Ants sometimes do impressive job by protecting the plants from enemies. There is a plant named Cordia Nodosa in Peru and there is an ant species known as Allomerus octoarticulatus in Amazon.

Scientists have found that they have a perfect degree of mutual understanding between them as they amazingly provide protection to their hosts.  They both interact in a manner that is mutually beneficial for both. They help each other in the activities like pollination and seed dispersal, as these activities involve animals that are attracted by plants that perform an important role by offering them food as a reward for the service. Megan Frederickson, who is the associate professor, said that there have been about 400 species of tropical plants that have evolved a special structure that protects ant colonies.

In return these ants keep herbivores insects away of the plants. Tropical trees are often completely covered in ants that work as the bodyguard for these plants by protecting them against grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars that may damage the plant. This is the perfect example of mutual understanding and benefit. Scientists have found some kind of genes or molecular mechanisms that make some ant’s better bodyguards than other species.

Anita Aishvarya

Content: www.sciencedaily.com


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