Do Ants Live in Antarctica?
Whether ants live in Antarctica is an open question. Ants are ectotherms, meaning they spend their lives in the ice and underground. Some species live in sub-zero environments without freezing. A number of insect species live in sub-antarctic areas. However, some of these invertebrates are poisonous.
Ants are a large part of terrestrial animal biomass. The average weight of all ants on Earth is greater than the weight of all humans. Ants play an important role in ecological processes and trophic interactions. They influence many aspects of life on earth, including seed harvesting and regulating humidity.
Ants are able to adapt to environmental change by genetically modifying themselves or by exploiting the variability of their environment. Ants also influence the growth of plants, especially seedlings, by feeding on them. Ants also regulate CO2 levels. Ants have a sense of smell, which allows them to detect different odors. Ants are also sensitive to temperature. They have a lower CTmin in colder environments.
During the past few decades, the average global temperature has been increasing. The upward trend has occurred in more areas than it has been cooling. In Antarctica, the ice has thickened and many scientific and military installations have been abandoned. In the future, there is evidence that more areas will be warming than cooling. This may have cascading consequences for the overall plant herbivores.
Many ant colonies have evolved aggressive territorial life-history strategies. These strategies are often dependent on the presence of a reproductive queen. Without a queen, colonies may not survive.