The number of all ants on the earth is '2 Kyo'

Ants form colonies consisting of a large number of individuals and multiple social strata, and live everywhere in the forests, parks, and even corners of sidewalks. ?” Some people must be wondering. A new paper published in the Proceedings of the

National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) estimates that ``the total number of ants living on earth is conservatively estimated at 2 quadrillion.''

The abundance, biomass, and distribution of ants on Earth | PNAS

Earth harbors 20,000,000,000,000,000 ants – and they weigh more than wild birds and mammals combined

Earth has 20 quadrillion ants, new population study says - The Washington Post

Ants are very small insects from the human point of view, but they dig the soil to allow air to pass through, help spread plant seeds, decompose various organic matter, and become food for other animals. , play an important role in nature. In addition, some birds use ant marches to find prey, and it has been shown that pest control of agricultural crops using ants is as effective as pesticides . Edward Osborne Wilson , a prominent American entomologist, called ants 'the little things that make the world go round.'

Ants have adapted to various environments and ecosystems around the world by forming advanced social groups, and more than 15,700 species and subspecies have been named so far, and have not been named by scientists. It is believed that there are many. Accurately estimating the population of ants that support ecosystems around the world is important in evaluating the impact of environmental changes on ants. However, many estimates of ``the number of ants living on the earth'' so far have been based on ambiguous assumptions, and systematic and evidence-based estimates are lacking.

Therefore, a research team at the

University of Hong Kong analyzed the results of surveys on 489 ant populations conducted by entomologists around the world and estimated the number of ants living on the earth. The population surveys used in the study spanned all continents and major habitats, including forests, deserts, grasslands, and cities, and used standard methods of collecting ants, such as pitfall traps and leaf litter samples. About. In addition, it seems that the survey results included not only English documents but also multiple non-English documents such as Spanish, French, German, Russian, Mandarin, and Portuguese.

As a result of the analysis, the research team calculated that ``the number of ants living on the earth is conservatively estimated to be 2 quadrillion.'' This number is 2 to 20 times higher than the conventional estimate, suggesting that the ant population may be much higher than previously assumed. 'Previous figures used a 'top-down' approach that assumed that ants accounted for 1% of the world's insect population. In contrast, we observed in the field that We use the ant data to provide a more reliable 'bottom-up' estimate with fewer assumptions.'

In addition, the total biomass (dry weight of carbon) of ants living on the earth is estimated to be equivalent to '12 million tons'. This biomass is more than the sum of wild birds and mammals other than humans, and is equivalent to about 20% of human biomass. In addition, we found that ants have a large distribution amount depending on the habitat, and are generally most abundant in the tropics, and abundant in forests and dry areas.

The research team should note that ``the data collection points are geographically unevenly distributed'' and ``most of the samples are collected on the ground, and there is little data on trees and underground ants. ”And so on, and the results may be somewhat inaccurate.

In recent years, it has become a problem that a large number of insects are on the verge of extinction, and the number of ants may be decreasing. Sabine Nooten, co-author of the paper, told the Washington Post, a daily newspaper, ``There have been no attempts to show temporal changes in ant populations.This is the next challenge.'' I was.

in Science,   Creature, Posted by log1h_ik