In details

Mutualism



Mutualism between cattle and bird: benefits for both

What is - definition

Mutualism is an interaction (relationship) between two species, where benefits for both occur. That is, by living together, the two species gain in some respect. In mutualism, species may or may not live together, depending on the type of relationship.

Types of mutualism:

Mutualism Required

Also known as symbiosis, in this relationship species depend on each other for survival. Lichen is the most classic example of this relationship. It is formed by a symbiotic relationship between an algae and a fungus. In this association, the algae is responsible for photosynthesis, while the fungus is responsible for absorption.

Optional Mutualism

Also known as protocooperation, in this type of association dependence does not occur, although both species benefit. A good example is the relationship between some bird species and cattle. Birds catch parasites on cattle to feed. Both benefit, but can live without the relationship.