Tropical rainforests in the mountains of Bolivia are highly threatened by slash-and-burn agriculture and the expansion of plantations. But what helps these trees make a comeback after they've been cleared? In addition to the birds and mammals that help disperse seeds, scientists are finding that the tiny ant also plays a huge role in the regeneration of rainforests. To find out the extent of their contributions, researchers scattered 1440 seeds of the tree Clusia trochiformis and found that ants approached and hauled away 60% of them. According to the study, published online this week in the Journal of Ecology, the seeds that were moved by the ants also sprouted faster than those that weren't.
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