Colloquium of the Platform Biodiversity: Ants – behavior, climate change and hybridization 

Saying ‘ants’, most people think of those small insects that need to be chased out of the kitchen. However, many people do not know that ants make essential contributions to our ecosystem, such as seed dispersal, pollination and even soil tillage. With 14,000 different species, ants can be found almost anywhere in the world, but they are not all the same. Many species differ in behavior, habitat and adaptation to climate change.

In this presentation, Patrick Krapf will present research findings on two groups: the alpine ants of the Tetramorium caespitum group and the ants of the Formica rufa group. We will start with the aggressive and peaceful behaviors of alpine ants, which are also present in South Tyrol, and then move on to the influence of habitat and climate change. In conclusion, we will focus on whether hybridization in ants, that is, mating between two different species, can provide a selective advantage in climate change.

Patrick Krapf is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki and a visiting researcher at the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on the influence of climate change on insects of the genus Formica in Finland and Europe. In particular, whether hybridization in ants can provide an advantage from a climate change perspective.

The colloquium will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 14th, at the Museum of Nature South Tyrol in German language. Admission is free. Online registration is required.

The event can also be followed online on the Museum’s YouTube channel.