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Have you ever wondered why a specific breed of egrets perch on top of cattle as they graze amongst the South Asian glades? The cattle egrets would feast upon the insects attracted to the smell and odor of the cattle, ensuring that these birds are going to be well fed. This interaction between the two species doesn’t inadvertently help the cattle in any way. The whole relationship between the cattle egrets and the cattle is an example of commensalism.
1. Commensalism Symbiosis in the Glades
Commensalism, mutualism, and parasitism are types of symbiotic relationships between two or more organisms found in nature. Scientists and biologists study these symbiotic relationships under a branch of Biology called Ecology. These researchers have defined commensalism or commensalism symbiosis as the relationship and interaction between two or more organisms where one only benefits from the relationship without harming or hurting the other.
There are many observable examples of basic commensalism found in nature. These are the relationship between primates and humans, bacteria and the digestive system, and plants and the tree frog. These relationships are easy to understand and decipher as the distinction between the three types of symbiotic relationships is easily observable.
Start by checking if two distinct organisms have any interactions and relationships organically found in nature. You can do this by observing these organisms from afar without any human interaction or intervention.
After establishing the relationship between two organisms, note how these two interact and act with each other. This observation will last for more than one month and could span years of observation.
Another thing to note is the proximity and location of these organisms. A symbiotic relationship requires both organisms to live close to one another or to spend most of their time with each other. If this isn’t observed then in most cases the relationship is not symbiotic.
After observing the interaction between both organisms, you will need to list out the advantages and disadvantages incurred by the interactions and relationships of the organisms. If one of the organisms is benefitting from the relationship while the other isn’t harmed and isn’t benefitting from the relationship, then this symbiotic relationship is commensalism.
Commensalism is the symbiotic relationship between one organism and another, where only one of those organisms benefits from the interaction without harming the other organism or causing their detriment. These organisms can benefit from the interaction with minimal or no effort in the relationship. Mutualism is the symbiotic relationship between two organisms in which both organisms benefit from their interaction. Both organisms must work together to reap the benefits of their symbiotic relationship.
Parasitism is the symbiotic relationship between two organisms where one organism benefits from the other. The benefitting organism will reap the benefits by causing harm, or sickness, often to the disadvantage of the other organism. This interaction will either cause the harmed organism to either die or be at a huge disadvantage. Commensalism is the symbiotic relationship between two organisms where one organism benefits from the other but will not explicitly cause harm to the other organism.
Commensalism is a long-term relationship between two organisms that can span generations of different interactions between the two organisms. The cause of Commensalism is the generational learning of one specific species of organism, figuring out how to take advantage of another species of the organism without harming or damaging them. This interaction and relationship will spring up unintentionally and organically as the two species evolve together.
Commensalism is very important in understanding the different ways organisms in nature can interact and affect one another. This symbiotic relationship helps illustrate that not all organisms will benefit from a particular partnership or relationship. This can also help understand how organisms can refine their behavior throughout multiple generations across different species