Ecological Management | Symbiosis Or Mutualism, Protocooperation, Commensalism, Amensalism, Parasitism

Types Of Associations And Their Features Symbiosis Or Mutualism (+ +) Mutualism or symbiosis occurs when both populations benefit, and at least one is so dependent on the other for a critical resource or function that it cannot survive in the given environment without the other species. Examples include: Lichen: Formed through a mutualistic association […]

Types Of Associations And Their Features

Symbiosis Or Mutualism (+ +)

Mutualism or symbiosis occurs when both populations benefit, and at least one is so dependent on the other for a critical resource or function that it cannot survive in the given environment without the other species. Examples include:

  1. Lichen: Formed through a mutualistic association between an alga and a fungus. The alga carries out photosynthesis, while the fungus absorbs rainwater and gets ready-made food from the alga.
  2. Protozoa in the digestive tract of termites: The protozoa help termites digest cellulose, and in return, they are protected by the termites.
  3. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the root nodules of leguminous plants: Rhizobium bacteria in the root nodules fix nitrogen for the plant, enhancing the plant’s nitrogen requirement.
  4. Microorganisms in the intestinal tract of ruminants: Bacteria and protozoa in the rumen help ruminants digest cellulose, and in return, the ruminants provide food and shelter for the microorganisms.
  5. Flower and insects: Insects obtain food from flowers, and in return, they facilitate cross-pollination, enabling sexual reproduction in plants.

 

Protocooperation (+ +)

Protocooperation is an association between organisms of different species in which both benefit but can also survive individually. Examples include:

  1. Sea anemone and hermit crab: The sea anemone provides camouflage protection to the hermit crab, and the crab helps transport the sea anemone to a feeding ground.
  2. Plover and crocodile: The plover bird enters the crocodile’s mouth to feed on parasitic leeches, benefiting from the removal of harmful parasites.
  3. Cattle and egret: The egret feeds on parasites on the cattle, benefiting both by obtaining food from the association.

 

Commensalism (+ 0)

Commensalism is an association where one organism benefits, and the other is neither harmed nor benefited. Examples include:

  1. Shark and Remora fish: The remora fish attaches itself to the shark without causing harm or benefit to the shark.
  2. Oyster and crabs: Crabs inhabit oyster shells without harming the oyster.
  3. Man and intestinal bacteria: Some bacteria in the human intestine feed on digested food without harming or benefiting the human.

 

Amensalism (- 0)

Amensalism is an association where one species is inhibited or killed, and the other is unaffected. Examples include:

  1. Penicillium notatum and bacteria: Penicillium releases antibiotics inhibiting bacterial growth.
  2. Streptomyces griseus and bacteria: Streptomyces secretes chemicals inhibiting bacterial growth.

 

Parasitism (- +)

Parasitism is a close association where one organism (parasite) lives on or in another (host), benefiting at the host’s expense. Examples include:

  1. Man and tapeworm: The tapeworm benefits from the host’s small intestine, while the host suffers from nutrient loss.
  2. Mistletoe and flowering plant: The mistletoe benefits by obtaining sunlight and nutrients from the host plant, causing harm to the host.

 

Predation (- +)

Predation involves one organism (predator) killing and feeding on another (prey). Examples include:

  1. Hawk and chicks of domestic fowls: The hawk benefits by catching and eating the chicks, leading to their elimination.
  2. Lion and goat: The lion benefits by catching and eating the goat, eliminating the prey completely.

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