Did you know ants have a symbiotic relation with plants and help in pollination?
The biological term “symbiosis” refers to what economists usually call a win-win situation: a relationship between two partners that is beneficial to both. The plants not just provide food and accommodation in the form of food bodies, seeds, and nectar as well as hollow thorns which can be used as nests. The ants return this favor by helping out in pollination..
According to the research conducted by J M Gómez and R Zamora, worker ants (Proformica longiseta, Formicidae) play an important role as pollinators of a mass-flowering woody plant. This comes as a surprise as there are other winged visitors to the flowers too and the worker ants make up to 80% of the total visitors to the plant. This translates to show that worker ants behave as true pollinators since they contribute to increasing the number of viable seeds produced by the woody plant (H. Spinosa). The key factor of this interaction is mainly the great density of workers throughout the flowering period.
At Plant Science, we are fascinated by the wonders of nature and how small these worker ants help in the pollination of a plant. What is it in the flower that invites these tiny worker plants to visit and thereby pollinate? This desire to study and learn more about how plants behave is what makes us come to work every day at #Atrimed #PlantScience.