Savanna with termite nest

Title Info
Common name Termites; Acacia Tree
Scientific name Isoptera; Acacia
Taxonomic group Insecta; Fabaceae
Level Order; Genus
Source Dan L. Perlman
Ecosystems Grasslands, savannas
Grasslands and savannas Tropical savanna
Nutrient cycles Nitrogen; Carbon; Decomposition
Ecological interactions Herbivory
Change over time Decomposition
Behavior Nesting; Social
Organisms Animals; Plants
Animals Insects
Date August 01, 2003
Location Tarangire National Park,Tanzania,Africa

Savanna with termite nest and Acacia tree, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. This image shows two of the most prominent features of the East African savanna, a flat-topped Acacia tree and a huge termite nest. There is a nice balance here, with the Acacia acting as a giant solar collector, turning sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into sugars and structural materials, and the termites harvesting those materials and, with the help of micro-organisms in their guts, decomposing them back into carbon dioxide and water. The materials cycle back and forth, but the energy flows only in one direction, from sun to plant to animals and micro-organisms.