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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Global warming could trigger ant invasions

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Global warming could trigger ant invasions - New Scientist

Excerpt - Global warming may lead to an unexpected threat from the insect world - swarming invasions of tiny ants - suggests new research.

The study of 665 ant colonies in environments ranging from tropical rainforests to frozen tundra suggests that in warmer environments the ants' body size shrinks, on average, while the number of individuals in the colony booms.

Global warming might shrink ant workers by as much as a third, says Michael Kaspari at the University of Oklahoma, US, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, who carried out the study: "And since ant species with small workers appear to be particularly successful at invading, ant invasions - already destructive - may become more common in a warming world."

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