MadSci Network: Environment & Ecology

Re: What are types of parasitism, commensalism, and mutualism in a desert biome

Date: Mon Oct 23 18:19:10 2000
Posted By: Alastair Lyon, Science Information Officer
Area of science: Environment & Ecology
ID: 972330648.En

That's a tricky one to answer. I'm struggling to think of desert ecosystem 
animals, especially parasites.

But defining Parasitism, Commensalism and Mutualism is easy. Maybe you 
could use my definitions of symbiosis to find out more about the desert 
animals for the project?

(+/-) Where one organism benefits (the parasite) and the other is 
negatively affected (the host).
Although not a desert example, fleas on a dog are a great demonstration of 
Parasitism at work.

(+/--)Where one organism benefits and the other neither benefits nor is 
negatively affected.
Sorry it's a marine example, but barnacles on a whale - the barnacle gets 
a place to live and relative safety, and the whale seems unaffected.
(Commensalism can easily cross the fine line into parasitism - have a 
think about this one!).

(+/+)Where one or more organisms benefit from the partnership occuring 
between them. Clown fish in anemonies and photosynthetic zooxanthallae 
algae in corals are both examples of an "intimate" relationship occuring 
between two species.

Hope this helps!



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