Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

Music of acacia, ant and savanna

  • Science magazine brought it in January. A group of researchers has published the result of their work under the name: The rupture of ant and plant mutualism produces interactions between lions and their main prey.
Inurri batek, erreakzio kate luze bat dela medio, Afrikako sabana bezalako ekosistema konplexu bat desitxuratu eta berritxuratu du. Argazkian "arantza txistukaria" esaten dioten akazia, sabanan gutxitu dena. Argazkia: Chr Kooyman / CC-Atribution-Share Alike 3.0

19 February 2024 - 06:00

The research was carried out in the Laikipia region in central Kenya. They investigate mutualism between the acacia called “Arantza txistulari” (Vachellia drepanolobium or Acacia drepanolobium) and some native ants. Acacia, like most people, has great spines to break the lips and scare the teeth of any herbivore that would have eaten new leaves and sprouts. This work is the ant. The thorn txistulari is food for giraffes and especially for elephants, and if the ant lives on the tree, it attacks on the lips and the end to which the leaf comes to eat. In exchange, the spina txistulari creates in the soles of the prunes unique, bag-shaped structures called “domecio” to house ants. In them it has two holes of entry and exit and when the wind blows they make a special whistle, hence the name of the plant: the thorn txistulari. This is mutualism, which has generated and worked for mutual benefit.

But another major ant coming from the island of Mauritius is attacking, eating and displacing the friendly ant of the Txistulari spine. This ant doesn't want to be friends with the Txistulari tree and it's running out of its protective army. As a result, elephants eat and collapse. The presence of Arantza txistulari in its landscape has decreased; what was a frequent forest or a little upholstered, is now an open forest and visibility has changed. Their lions have zebra as their primary natural prey. However, with the clearance of the forest, the zebras see hunters more easily and flee and cannot catch them. Lions have had to change their kinetics strategy. Now they capture buffalo. It's harder to pull the buffalo for the lions to the ground, but they have a big advantage, the buffalo has no passion for leakage, at least like the zebras.

An invading ant feeds another ant, leaves the Txistulari spina unprotected, the fodder of elephants grows, the zebras take care of lions perfectly and the lion has forgotten the delicate taste of light zebra meat and has had to eat buffalos. An ant, through a long chain of reactions, deforms and recreates a complex ecosystem such as the African savanna. Among them, the destroyed Txistulari spina ant and that savanna without elegant wheezing.


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