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Research: There are 20 Quadrillion Ants on Earth | merdeka.com


Merdeka.com – New research suggests there are at least 20 quadrillion or 20,000 trillion ants on Earth. This staggering figure is probably still far from the total population of insects, which are an important part of ecosystems around the world.

Determining ant populations globally is important for measuring the consequences of changes to their habitats, including those caused by the climate crisis.

Ants have important roles such as dispersing seeds, harboring organisms, and functioning as predators or prey.

A number of studies have attempted to estimate the global ant population, but the results are much smaller than the most recent result of 20 million billion.

In this new finding, the researchers analyzed 465 studies that measured the number of ants. The research was published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Hundreds of studies have used two standard techniques: setting traps that catch passing ants over a period of time, or analyzing the number of ants on a particular patch of leaf on the ground.

While surveys have been conducted on all continents, some key regions have little or no data, including central Africa and Asia.

This is the reason why the number of ants is much greater than expected.

“It is imperative that we fill this remaining gap in order to achieve a comprehensive picture of insect diversity,” the researchers explain in the journal.

There are more than 15,700 named ant species and subspecies found across the planet, and it is likely that many ants have yet to be described or named.

But almost two-thirds of it is found in only two types of ecosystems: tropical forests and savannas.

Based on estimates of the number of ants, their total global biomass is estimated at 12 megatons of dry carbon — more than wild birds and mammals combined, and 20 percent of humans.

In the future, the researchers plan to study environmental factors that affect the population density of these tiny creatures. [pan]

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