What is the purpose of ants ecologically?
- Jeff SadlerLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Various species of ants have various roles. Most flowers are not pollinated by ants but many more than you might think are includiing violets and other memrecophytes.
Since you were not specific on species the statements here are general.
As a whole most ants are predatory and sit at the top of the terrestrial arthropod food web. This means they are the top land predator for creatures their size. This means they play an enormous role in cleaning up pest species. In some countries farming would be impossible without them.
We out weigh ants by about a billion to one but since there are about a billion times as many ants as humans the total biomass is approximately the same. This means they are an important food source for insectivores.
Ants disperse seeds, clean up carrion, and even helpp loosen soils.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
There are thousands of species of ants, and
they have many different functions (not purposes) ecologically. One that they do not
have to any significant degree is pollination of
flowers. Their secretions are inimical to pollen.
Most flowers are pollinated by bees, flies,
wasps, moths, birds or other animals.
Some ants are carnivores, feeding largely on
other insects, some are seed-eaters, some (the
leafcutter ants) are even farmers, raising fungi
on which they feed. This is just a small sample
of their many ecological roles.
- LabsciLv 71 decade ago
Most of the world's flowering plants are pollinated by ants. Not by flying insects as you might think. So, in that respect, they have a great purpose.
On another level, they do not need a purpose. Existence is its own purpose, and need not be justified.
- 1 decade ago
they also help aerate the soil, just like other diggers.