24 Apr '12, 5pm

To Find Diversity Hot Spots, Follow the Ants

To Find Diversity Hot Spots, Follow the Ants

Associated Press The lowly fire ant on the tip of a pencil. More on the biodiversity front: For years, scientists tracking global patterns in biodiversity have focused on the distribution of plants, birds and mammals to identify areas that are conservation priorities. In reality, however, it is the often-hidden world of insects that represents most of the planet’s biodiversity. And the greatest diversity among the creepy and the crawly is not always concurrent with that of larger flora and fauna. Much is simply unknown about how many insect species are out there and where the so-called biodiversity hot spots for them occur. In an attempt to fill in some of the knowledge gap, a team of researchers from North Carolina State University has compiled data from around the world on diversity patterns for 300 ant genera — ants are among the most abundant insect groups in many ecos...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/24/to-find-diversi...

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