Mutualism (biology) - Wikipedia
The term mutualism refers to a relationship in biology or sociology that is mutually beneficial to two living things. This relationship can be within the species. The traditional definition of symbiosis is a mutually beneficial relationship involving close physical contact between two organisms that aren't the same species. A mutualistic relationship is when two organisms of different species "work One example of a mutualistic relationship is that of the oxpecker (a kind of bird) and The bacteria benefit by getting food, and the human benefits by being able to.
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There are several forms of symbiosis. In some instances, the organisms require the symbiotic relationship in order to survive. This is known as obligate symbiosis. In other cases, the symbiotic relationship gives each organism a greater chance of survival but isn't absolutely necessary. This is known as facultative symbiosis.
Symbiotic relationships aren't always symmetrical -- they can be obligate for one organism and facultative for the other. The "close physical contact" part of the definition is worth looking at more closely.
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In most cases, it's fairly straightforward -- one organism may make its home directly on another organism's body, or even live inside it. But biologists also consider the biochemical relationship between two organisms. If they're generating and sharing enzymes, proteins, gases or other chemicals then they can also said to be symbiotes.
Endosymbiotes live inside another organism.
Other examples include rhizobia bacteria that fix nitrogen for leguminous plants family Fabaceae in return for energy-containing carbohydrates. Service-resource relationships are common. Three important types are pollination, cleaning symbiosis, and zoochory. In pollinationa plant trades food resources in the form of nectar or pollen for the service of pollen dispersal.
Phagophiles feed resource on ectoparasitesthereby providing anti-pest service, as in cleaning symbiosis. Elacatinus and Gobiosomagenera of gobiesalso feed on ectoparasites of their clients while cleaning them.
This is similar to pollination in that the plant produces food resources for example, fleshy fruit, overabundance of seeds for animals that disperse the seeds service. Another type is ant protection of aphidswhere the aphids trade sugar -rich honeydew a by-product of their mode of feeding on plant sap in return for defense against predators such as ladybugs.
Service-service relationships[ edit ] Ocellaris clownfish and Ritter's sea anemones is a mutual service-service symbiosis, the fish driving off butterflyfish and the anemone's tentacles protecting the fish from predators.
Strict service-service interactions are very rare, for reasons that are far from clear.
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However, in common with many mutualisms, there is more than one aspect to it: A second example is that of the relationship between some ants in the genus Pseudomyrmex and trees in the genus Acaciasuch as the whistling thorn and bullhorn acacia.
The ants nest inside the plant's thorns. In exchange for shelter, the ants protect acacias from attack by herbivores which they frequently eat, introducing a resource component to this service-service relationship and competition from other plants by trimming back vegetation that would shade the acacia.