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Examples of symbiosis


Symbiosis refers to any association between two different types of populations. His study is the quintessence of system biology, which combines not only all levels of biological analysis, from molecular to environmental, but also studies the relationships between organisms in the three domains of life. The development of this area is still at an early stage, but in the near future results will not take long to come.

Types of symbiosis

What is symbiosis in biology (grade 5)? Symbiosis is a relationship between two or more organisms that live in close contact with each other. An interaction occurs when two species live in one place and one or both benefit from the other. This definition indirectly includes predation, since it can also be considered as a type of symbiosis.

Indeed, one type of symbiosis, parasitism, is simply a special form of predation. Despite this, environmentalists classify predation and symbiosis as two different types of interactions. There are three main types of symbiotic interactions. This mutualism, parasitism, commensalism.

Mutualism is one of the most famous and most ecologically significant types of symbiosis. In such a relationship are, for example, insects and plants (pollination). Such cooperation is beneficial and mutually beneficial for both parties. Insects, birds, and even some mammals in the form of nectar, feed themselves. The plant, on the other hand, has a great reproductive advantage, namely, they have the opportunity to transfer their pollen to other plants.

Since plants do not often appear together, it is quite problematic for them to perform reproductive function without intermediaries. In this case, the symbiosis is simply vital for them, and in the full sense of the word. Without pollinators, many plants could simply fade away. On the other hand, without pollinating the plants, many insects themselves would be in big trouble. This is a truly mutually beneficial alliance.

Examples of symbiosis in biology are not limited to this. Another exciting option of beneficial cooperation can be seen in the relationship of some species of ants and aphids. Aphids are tiny, soft insects that feed on plant sap, and they release a certain amount of sugar and water as waste. This becomes suitable food for some species of ants. In turn, ants often transfer them to a new location, thus providing additional food sources.


What is symbiosis in biology? This cooperation, however, it can not always bring only benefit. Parasitic relationships, unlike mutualistic ones, always imply an inequality of interests. In fact, this relationship always looks like a win-lose. Sometimes nothing happens to the loser, often this cooperation manifests itself in the form of discomfort, in some cases parasitism can be fatal.

There are many different types of parasites, but they are divided into two main types. Some arrange their home within the body of their owners, in which they live, while others feed on the surface.

The first type is called endoparasites, these protozoa can cause diarrhea and severe pain, clog the lymph nodes and cause limb tumors (elephantiasis). The second type, the so-called ectoparasites, also harms its wearer. These include lice, mosquitoes and others, these pests receive shelter, food, and at this time their owner receives harm of varying degrees.


What is symbiosis in biology? First of all, this cooperation. One of the most rare types of symbiosis found in nature is commensalism. In this case, only one party benefits. The second from such an arrangement is neither hot nor cold. Discovering his examples is a rather difficult task. However, several examples can be given.

Commensalism is the union of two or more partners living together, where only one benefits from the partnership, and the other simply remains whole and intact. For example, the tiny inhabitants of the ocean depths, known as sticks and anemones, attach in a special way to the larger inhabitants (whales and sharks) and feed on any food at their expense. The missing tiny particles of food are immediately absorbed by the "good" parasites. In such a relationship are also sea anemone and clown fish.

An example of commensalism may be demonstrated by some desert lizards who find a place to live in abandoned rat or snake holes. Lizards get shelter while another animal gets nothing in return.

What is symbiosis in biology? In simple words, it can be said that this is positive, negative or neutral cooperation between different types of organisms.

Mushrooms and trees

Many mushrooms (white fungus, brown boletus) have a close connection with the roots of trees, having a benefit for themselves and for the plant. With this symbiosis, the small roots of certain trees are woven over with mycelium (hyphae), which penetrate the roots and are located between the cells. This formation is called mycorrhiza. Mykoriza was discovered by the Russian botanist Franz Mikhailovich Kamensky in 1879, and the German scientist David Albertovich Frank gave the name to this kind of symbiosis.

If you literally translate this term, it will really reflect its essence, because it translates as - fungus root. The benefit for the roots of the plant is that the mycelium gives it water and minerals dissolved in it, absorbed by it from the soil. It is necessary for the plant to develop the root system, because the mycelium can release vitamins and substances for this development. The plant supplies the fungus with ready-made organic substances, such as sugars, or root excretions, for the fungal spores.

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SIMBIOSIS mutually beneficial cohabitation of 2 organisms (for example, peas and nodule bacteria - pea creates organic matter and gives up bacteria, and the bacterium absorbs atmospheric nitrogen from the air and gives it to the plant, and due to nitrogen the green mass of the plant grows better), birch + mushroom boletus, hermit crab + sea anemone.

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Symbiosis is the interaction and coexistence of representatives of different species.

In nature, there is a wide range of examples of mutually beneficial symbiosis. From gastric and intestinal bacteria, without which digestion would be impossible, to plants (often orchids), whose pollen can be distributed only by one, certain type of insect. Such relationships are always successful when they increase the chances of both partners for survival. Actions performed during symbiosis or produced substances are essential and irreplaceable for partners. In the generalized understanding of this symbiosis - an intermediate link between the interaction and merging.

In a broader scientific understanding, symbiosis is any form of interaction between organisms of different species, including parasitism — relationships that are beneficial to one, but harmful to another symbiont. A mutually beneficial form of symbiosis is called mutualism. Commensalism refers to relationships that are useful to one, but indifferent to another symbiont, and amenalism - relations that are harmful to one, but indifferent to another.

A kind of symbiosis is endosymbiosis, when one of the partners lives inside the cell of another.

What is symbiosis?

Symbiosis is a biological term that serves to define a beneficial relationship between two or more living organisms of different species. In addition to use in biology, the word is used in other areas of life to describe any mergers implying a gain.

What is SYMBIOSIS - definition and concept in simple words.

In simple terms, symbiosis is a form of interaction between several organisms, in which either one of them, or all at once, benefits. As a rule, the motivational factor for creating symbiotic relationships in nature are the simplest needs, such as nutrition, protection, habitat and reproduction. So for example, fish sticks attached to larger marine predatory, than provide themselves with protection and food in the form of residues from the prey. There are a lot of similar examples of interaction, and we'll talk about them in more detail a little later.

If you move away from biological terminology, the word "symbiosis" can be heard in the field of business, art, technology, politics and so on. For example, quite often in the media you can hear a statement like: “a symbiosis of business and politics,” which literally means close interaction between political circles and business.

In turn, there are three types of symbiosis:

  • Mutualism,
  • Commensalism
  • Parasitism.

Mutualism is symbiosis in which organisms benefit each other. This type of "union" is the most common in nature and may be both optional and mandatory for different species. With such a symbiosis, species can interact both physically and biochemically. For example, birds and insects that feed on floral nectar have a symbiotic relationship with these flowers. They get nectar in the form of food, and instead they help with pollination by transferring pollen from one flower to another. Similarly, in symbiosis are the sea anemone and clown fish, which protect each other from their enemies.

Commensalism is the relationship between species that benefit one organism without significant harm or help another. The above example of sticking fish refers to this type of connection.

Parasitism is antipathic symbiotic relationship, in which one organism is harmed, and the other benefits from it. Parasites are of two types, it is: endoparasites - which live inside the host and ectoparasites - living outside. Parasites receive nutrients from the host’s body and in some cases infect it with infections leading to death. For example, people can be hosts of various parasites, such as intestinal worms or fleas.

Symbiosis examples.

An amazing example of a bit of a terrible, but very interesting symbiosis, is the interrelation of the fungus Cordyceps and insects. For example, spores of a zombie fungus join an ant and penetrate its tissues using enzymes. After that, the fungus changes the ant's behavior and subordinates it. The ant moves away from its colony, climbs the trunk of the plant and unnaturally places its mandibles deep into the leaf. After attaching to the leaf, the ant loses its ability to move, and the fungus begins to grow from its body. Thus, at a height, the zombie mushroom most effectively spreads its disputes.

Another example of an amazing symbiosis may be the relationship of ants and aphids. In fact, the ants are engaged in a kind of animal husbandry. They breed and protect the aphids, from which they receive the sweet nourishing nectar.