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Symbiosis Stories! Members of different populations will interact with each other and these interactions are known as symbiotic relationships. There are five general types of symbiotic relationships. Symbiotic name Symbols defining relationship +=benefits/ -=harmed/ 0=unaffected Explanation Mutualism Commensalism +/+ +/0 Parasitism +/- Predation +/- Scavenging +/0 Both species involved benefit in some way One species benefits while the other species is neither harmed nor benefited (unaffected) One species (the parasite) benefits by living in/on the other species (the host), using it for shelter and/or a food source One species benefits from the relationship (predator) while the other species is killed and eaten (prey) One species benefits from the relationship from another species that is already dead For each relationship below, tell the affect on each organism (positive, negative, or unaffected) and then give the name of the symbiotic relationship (commensalism, parasitism, mutualism, predation, or scavenging). Damselfish/ Sea Anemone The anemone provides a safe habitat for the damselfish since the fish exhibits a special tolerance to the sting of the anemone. At the same time, the fish removes debris from the anemone and acts as a colorful lure to attract fish to the anemone on which it can prey. Affect on damselfish____________ Affect on Anemone __________________ Relationship name ___________________________________________ Lynx/ Snowshoe hare The main food for the lynx is the snowshoe hare. The population size of the animals is closely linked. From a low count of only a few per square mile, the number of hares tends to gradually increase over ten years until there is a peak of several thousand per square mile. For some reason that is not fully understood, the population of the hares then drops drastically. Lynx populations follow the same pattern, increasing gradually as their chief prey, the snowshoe hare, becomes more abundant. As the food source becomes scarce, the lynx population declines. Affect on lynx _________________ Affect on snowshoe hare______________ Relationship name__________________________________________ Spanish Moss/ Forest Trees Spanish moss is not a moss, in reality it is a type of fungus that grows in long threadlike tangled mats from the branches of trees in warm, humid forests of the southern U.S. The tree branches support and protect the Spanish moss but they are not harmed by it. The Spanish moss collects moisture and nutrients from rainwater and the air. Affect on Spanish moss __________ Affect on Forest trees ________________ Relationship name ________________________________________ Black-footed ferret/ Prairie dog The prairie dog is one of the main sources of food for the black-footed ferret. As more prairie and grassland areas are cultivated and populated, the prairie dog is crowded out. This causes a population decline, which in turn leaves less food for the ferret. When food becomes scarce, the ferret numbers decline. Affect on black-footed ferret_________ Affect on Prairie dog________________ Relationship name________________________________________ Remora Fish/Shark Pilot fish, feeding on scraps, benefit from the hunting efforts of sharks. Although pilot fish never stray too close to the shark’s mouth, they have been observed taking refuge in the mouths of rays which do not eat fish. Affect on Remora Fish__________ Affect on Shark_____________________ Relationship name_______________________________________ Flea/Dogs and Cats Fleas are very small insects with legs and mouthparts suited for sucking. They burrow into the skin to suck the blood of the host animal. Fleas attack man as readily as dogs or cats and they have been known to transmit tapeworms, bubonic plague and other diseases. Affect on Flea___________ Affect on Dogs and Cats_______________ Relationship name_______________________________________ Orchid/Rain Forest Trees Most orchids grow high in the trees of tropical forests. The trees provide the orchids with the support to grow high and allow them to capture more sunlight than they would on the forest floor. The trees are not harmed, since the orchids neither feed on their tissues nor prevent significant amounts of sunlight from reaching the leaves. Affect on Orchid_________ Affect on Rain Forest Trees____________ Relationship name_______________________________________ Barnacle/Whale The barnacle attaches to the whale, mostly for a home site, but with no apparent degenerative effects to the whale. Affect on Barnacle________ Affect on Whale_____________________ Relationship name________________________________________ Termite/Protist Termites live in colonies that have a very structured social organization similar to ant colonies. The main food of these animals is wood and other plant material. The body chemistry of termites is unable to break down cellulose, the major component of plant material. A certain type of protist that breaks down cellulose has invaded the digestive track of termites. The termites are able to get nutrition and energy from plant material after it’s broken down by the protists while the protists also obtain food and energy from the plant material as it passes through the digestive track of termites. Affect on Termite____________ Affect on Protist_____________________ Relationship name________________________________________ Aphid/Ant Ants provide aphids with protection from predators and parasites. Ants receive food as a byproduct of the aphid’s digestion. Some aphid species have evolved to the status of little more than domestic cattle, having lost all the defensive structures of free living species. Ants will keep aphid eggs throughout the winter and, when they hatch, carry the aphids to the roots of the plants on which they feed. Queen ants on nuptial flights, will carry aphids in their mandibles. Affect on Aphid__________ Affect on Ant_______________________ Relationship name________________________________________ Elf Owl/Saguaro Cactus Elf Owl is one of the smallest owls in the world, measuring 6” in length. It lives in the southern parts of North America where there are giant column cactus (Saguaro). It feeds on spiders and insects and derives most of its water from their body liquids. It can go a whole season without drinking. It lives in the old nest holes of the Gila woodpecker, which have been pecked out of the saguaro cactus. The hole in the cactus dries out making an excellent nest for the owl. Affect on Elf Owl__________ Affect on Saguaro Cactus______________ Relationship name________________________________________ Oxbird (Oxpecker)/Rhinoceros Oxpeckers cling to the backs of rhinoceroses (as well as other grazing animals) and feed on flies, fly larvae and parasites. This provides a food source for the Oxpecker and at the same time relieves the rhinoceros of parasites. Affect on Oxbird________________ Affect on Rhinoceros_________________ Relationship name________________________________________ Mistletoe/Apple Tree The mistletoe is a plant that grows on the trunks and branches of various trees. The European and American varieties grow most often on apple trees, eventually causing the tree to die. Affect on Mistletoe______________ Affect on Apple Tree_________________ Relationship name___________________________________ Honey Guide Bird/Badger The bird finds the beehives and guides the badger to it by a special display of flight. The thick-skinned badger can open the hive and feed. Once the badger has finished eating, the bird feeds on the remains of the honeycomb and bee larvae. Affect on Honey Guide Bird______________ Affect on Badger____________________ Relationship name___________________________________ Magpie/Road Kill Animals The magpie is a large perching bird with a black head, wings and tail but the belly and shoulders are white. They are common in the Western U.S. Magpies can often be seen feeding on animals that have been killed by cars. Affect on Magpie___________________ Affect on Road Kill Animals____________ Relationship name___________________________________ Hermit Crab/Snail Shell Once the snail has died or left its shell, the hermit crab will use the empty snail shell as a shelter. The crab’s hind quarters are extremely sensitive and vulnerable, thus are protected by the hard shell of the snail. Affect on Hermit Crab________ Affect on Snail Shell__________________ Relationship name___________________________________