Seething soils: Why the yellow meadow ant is the most important invertebrate in many grasslands

Natural History Live by Dr Tim King

The Yellow Meadow Ant (Lasius flavus) is a subterranean species that builds long-lasting ant-hills, acting as an allogenic engineer. This talk will explain where this ant fits within the British ant fauna, its life cycle, mound growth and their relationship with aphids. We’ll cover the effects of Yellow Meadow Any communities on plant patterns and other insect species, looking at a study of soil biodiversity on and off mounds at Richmond Park (ants, aphids, mites, springtails) and the implications for conservation of grazed pastures.

FSC Natural History Live webinars are free online learning experiences for adults, comprising of a 30-40 minute talk from a guest speaker, followed by a question and answer session. We host them on Zoom and we will send out joining instructions on the day of the event. Sign up for the FSC Biodiversity newsletter to find out about our other online learning opportunities and receive exclusive discounts.

Tutor: Dr Tim King

Tim King is an ecologist based in Oxford who has been studying the importance of yellow meadow ant-hills in grasslands for over fifty years. Over the past five years he has come to appreciate the role of this ant as a keystone species in old pastures, profoundly affecting energy flow and the distribution patterns of plants and animals.


These Natural History Live webinars are made available to all at no cost. If you would like to contribute to the Natural History Live webinar programme you can do so by selecting the option to attend at a cost of £5. All donated fees contribute financially towards supporting adult learning opportunities for a range of audiences with the FSC.

Attendee (Online) - select if you would like to attend at a cost of £5 (all donated fees go towards supporting our adult natural history training programme)

Attendee Discounted (Online) - select if you would like to attend at no cost

Example Timetable

The usual format of Natural History Live virtual events is:

  • 5 minute intro by the FSC EcoSkills project team
  • 30-40 minute talk presented by guest speaker
  • 15-25 minute speaker Q&A session hosted by a FSC staff member

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

Before You Attend

Please note that after booking on to the event:

  • You will need to download the Zoom software before we start. This is free and you can do so here:
  • You can sign into the Zoom test meeting any time before to test if everything is working for you here: