Stoffwechsel der Kolonie

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27.08.2010 Ant colonies shed light on metabolism

Ants are usually regarded as the unwanted guests at a picnic. But a recent study of California seed harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex californicus) examining their metabolic rate in relation to colony size may lead to a better appreciation for the social, six-legged insects, whose colonies researchers say provide a theoretical framework for understanding cellular networks.

Pogonomyrmex californicus seed harvester ant colonies: The Study

A team of researchers led by James Waters of Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. conducted a series of experiments designed to measure the components of ant metabolism, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, in individual ants and in colonies of ants. The team studied 13 colonies of seed harvester ants taken from a nearby desert and housed in the university’s research lab. By using flow-through respirometry and factors such as growth rates, patterns of movement, behavior and size, the team measured standard metabolic rates (i.e., energy expenditures) of the functioning colonies as well as in individual ants. …