First published in 1977.
Social insects are amongst the most successful species. This study concentrates on the production ecology of ants and termites. Ants and termites are highly socialised and their groupings in their most developed form enable them to function as large organisms comparable with the larger mammals in their influence in ecosystems. In spite of their social mode of life, quantitative investigations are not easy and this volume emphasises the importance of developing reliable techniques.
The account deals critically with production, food and feeding habits, respiration and energy flow, nutrient dynamics and the role of ants and termites in ecosystems. The body of information is not only an invaluable summary and synthesis of work already done, but presents a concise statement of what now needs to be done and what means should be employed. The volume is for social insect ecologists and entomologists and for all who teach ecology, because it contains valuable data and ideas for the general ecologist.