The production of organic matter in tropical rainforests is prodigious. Living and dying creates tonnes of debris. It has to be cleaned up or the forest would suffer.
Thanks to ants, the rainforest floor is kept in good condition. Ants account for over half of debris removal in the rainforest. Collectively, ants are crucial ecosystem engineers.
The movement, consumption, and recycling of dead organic material in ecosystems is important because it facilitates nutrient redistribution and decomposition. Because ants collect waste products and take them to their nests, they create hotspots of nutrients where plants and microbes thrive. This maintains a diverse and healthy soil. ~ English ecologist Catherine Parr