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Symbiotic Relationships WS
Symbiosis is a relationship in which two different organisms live in
close association with each other.
Read the scenario and identify what type of symbiotic relationship is
displayed between the two organisms. (Mutualism, Parasitism, Commensalism)
Answer the questions under each scenario. * These are taken from previous
TAKS tests and TAKS practice material.
# 1: Epiphytes, like bromeliads and orchids, are plants that live perched on sturdier plants,
such as trees. They do not take any nourishment from their host and simply benefit from
being better exposed to sunlight.
A. Type of relationship _____________________________
B. Why? _____________________________________________
C. Name the two organisms involved.
#2: A hummingbird feeds on the nectar of a flowering plant. In this process the bird gains
nutrition while spreading the plant’s pollen to other flowers. The relationship between
hummingbirds and flowering plants can be described as -- ?
A. Type of relationship _____________________________
B. Why? _____________________________________________
#3: In Central America, there is a flowering tree called a bullhorn acacia (acacia cornigera)
that provides both food and shelter to a certain species of ant (pseudomyrmex ferruginea).
The ants live within the tree without causing it harm. In fact, the ants protect the tree by
vigorously attacking and stinging other animals that try to eat it.
A. Type of relationship _____________________________
B. Why? _____________________________________________
#4: The dorsal fin of the remora (a bony fish) is modified into a sucker with which it forms
a temporary attachment to the shark. When the shark feeds, the remora picks up scraps.
The shark makes no attempt to prey on the remora, nor does it try to remove it.
A. Type of relationship _____________________________
B. Why? _____________________________________________
#5: Certain fungi are consumers that obtain their food from plant roots. Thus, they live in
close association with certain plants. As they grow, these fungi form large, underground,
threadlike nets. These nets allow the plants to extend their roots systems. The larger root
systems, in turn, help the plants obtain more nutrients from the soil.
A. Type of relationship
B. Why? _____________________________________________
C. Most fungi live off dead or decaying organisms. They are not called
consumers but _______________________.
#6: Beechdrops are leafless plants that lack chlorophyll. Beechdrops get their nourishment
from the roots of beech trees, which reduces the amount of nutrients available to the trees
A. Type of relationship ______________________________________
B. Why? _____________________________________________
C. How does this type of relationship differ from Predation?
#7: After being introduced in the 1930s, the fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) became
established throughout much of the southern United States. One biological way to control
fire ants might be to introduce organisms that are –
Circle one answer choice and explain the reasoning behind your answer.
A. mutualistic with fire ant queens
B. nurtured by fire ant workers
C. preyed on by fire ant drones
D. parasitic to fire ant larvae