Ant farmers boost plant nutrition with their faeces, offering clues for future food security

Humans began cultivating crops about 12,000 years ago. Ants have been at it rather longer. Leafcutter ants, the best-known insect farmers, belong to a lineage of insects that have been running fungus farms based on chopped-up vegetable matter for over 50 million years. The ant farming of flowering plants, however, started more recently, about 3 million years ago in the Fiji Islands.


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