Role of Termites in Nature
Many people may not be aware of this, but surprisingly enough, termites play a crucially important, considerable role when it comes to maintaining the ecological balance. These extremely social insects are capable of sustaining life in nature quite effectively. But how exactly do they do this? That’s exactly what we’ll be talking about in this article so keep on reading to find out.
Role of termites in nature
1. They Function As Green Machines
Termites are considered green machines, meaning they are the best recyclers of nature. Termites burrow repeatedly and help to aerate the soil that allows rainwater to trickle in, enabling mixing of nutrients. Furthermore, this can ensure that the ground remains fertile and healthy as well. These insects feed on cellulose that is found in every kind of dead plant, and their sticky excretions help them to hold the soil together, which prevents soil erosion.
Additionally, termites put all the dead plants back into the soil, making way for new ones to grow. They also inadvertently and involuntarily offer themselves as the food source for a variety of different kinds of organisms. So every organism, be it simple or complex, always approaches these recyclers, which means that they hold an irreplaceable and indispensable role in maintaining ecosystem balance. They are eusocial creatures that have been around for nearly two hundred million years already. It’s all thanks to their disciplined social behavior that has ensured their survival.
2. Termite Mounds
Termite mounds are yet another thing that helps nature in an efficient way. The study done by Princeton University discovered that these insects can prevent the degradation of soil through their homes. According to the researchers, those mounds of dirt which are built by termites may prevent soil from drying up. Additionally, they said that large mounds of dirt can store moisture and are also the sources of nourishment for plants and soil around the mounds. Through its tunnel, they help the soil in absorbing water. Thus, plants tend to thrive and easily grow around the mounds. Furthermore, they can protect plants as well as their seeds during the rainy season. Consequently, these thriving conditions are also beneficial for those animals that depend on plants to survive. Also, mounds can be used as shelter by animals or use it as a hunting hiding place.
As you can see, even though termites can cause serious damage when they start infesting your home, in nature, they are quite useful and hold an important role in maintaining the ecological balance, which means that appreciating them when you stumble upon them in nature can’t be a bad thing at all.
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Learn about How a Termite Colony Operates here