Landscape engineers: humans, beavers, and…termites!
We all admire the beaver for the way it can turn a linear river into a lake with a dam, but the termites turning the desert into a pattern of oases that allow permanent life even in drought periods for hundreds of years - that’s much more fascinating. -Norbert Juergens, University of Hamburg
Read the BBC Science article by Jonathan Amos that examines Juergens’ studies of grass “fairy circles” created by termites in the Namibian desert: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21970408
Do termites “engineer” the American deserts to maintain water supplies as they appear to do in Africa? Will this change with climate change? Good questions for scientists about this behavioral pattern!
-Matt Preston. Photo from BBC