digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

A titan triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens) creates feeding opportunities for smaller fish by moving large rocks too big for them to shift themselves.

In ecology, commensalism is a class of relationship between two organisms where one organism benefits without affecting the other. It compares with mutualism, in which both organisms benefit, amensalism, where one is harmed while the other is unaffected, and parasitism, where one benefits while the other is harmed.

Commensalism derives from the English word commensal, meaning "eating at the same table" in human social interaction, which in turn comes through French from the Medieval Latin commensalis, meaning "sharing a table", from the prefix com-, meaning "together", and mensa, meaning "table" or "meal".[1] Originally, the term was used to describe the use of waste food by second animals, like the carcass eaters that follow hunting animals, but wait until they have finished their meal.[citation needed]

Examples of commensal relationships[edit]

Commensalism is harder to demonstrate than parasitism and mutualism, for it is easier to show a single instance whereby the host is affected than it is to prove or disprove that possibility. One example is a whale and barnacles. Another is the titan triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens) creates feeding opportunities for smaller fish by moving large rocks too big for them to shift themselves. Yet another example is the remora, which eats leftover food from a whale and "hitches a ride".

Arguments[edit]

Whether the relationship between humans and some types of our gut flora is commensal or mutualistic is still unanswered.

Some biologists argue that any close interaction between two organisms is unlikely to be completely neutral for either party, and that relationships identified as commensal are likely mutualistic or parasitic in a subtle way that has not been detected. For example, epiphytes are "nutritional pirates" that may intercept substantial amounts of nutrients that would otherwise go to the host plant.[2] Large numbers of epiphytes can also cause tree limbs to break or shade the host plant and reduce its rate of photosynthesis. Similarly, phoretic mites may hinder their host by making flight more difficult, which may affect its aerial hunting ability or cause it to expend extra energy while carrying these passengers.

Types[edit]

Phoretic mites on a fly (Pseudolynchia canariensis)
Phoresy, a pseudoscorpion on the leg of a crane fly

Like all ecological interactions, commensalisms vary in strength and duration from intimate, long-lived symbioses to brief, weak interactions through intermediaries.

Phoresy[edit]

Phoresy is one animal attached to another exclusively for transport, mainly arthropods, examples of which are mites on insects (such as beetles, flies or bees), pseudoscorpions on mammals[3] or beetles, and millipedes on birds.[4] Phoresy can be either obligate or facultative (induced by environmental conditions).

Inquilinism[edit]

Inquilinism is the use of a second organism for permanent housing. Examples are epiphytic plants (such as many orchids) that grow on trees,[5] or birds that live in holes in trees.

Metabiosis[edit]

Metabiosis is a more indirect dependency, in which one organism creates or prepares a suitable environment for a second. Examples include maggots, which feast and develop on corpses, and hermit crabs, which use gastropod shells to protect their bodies.

See also[edit]

  • Symbiosis - long-term interactions between different biological species, which can be mutualistic, commensal or parasitic
  • Mutualism - where both organisms experience mutual benefit in the relationship
  • Parasitism - where one organism benefits at the expense of another

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harper, Douglas. "commensalism". Online Etymology Dictionary. 
  2. ^ Benzing, D.H. (1980) Biology of the Bromeliads. Eureka, California: Mad River Press.
  3. ^ Durden, Lance A. (2001) "Pseudoscorpions Associated With Mammals in Papua New Guinea". Biotropica, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 204–206.
  4. ^ Tajovy, Karel, et al. (2001) "Millipedes (Diplopoda) in Dogs' nests". European Journal of Soil Biology, vol. 37, pp. 321–323.
  5. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2011. Commensalism. Topic Ed. M.Mcginley. Ed-in-chief C.J.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commensalism — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
4385 videos foundNext > 

Symbiosis: Mutualism, Commensalism, and Parasitism

Symbiosis is close and often long-term interaction between different biological species. The definition of symbiosis is controversial among scientists. Some ...

Kangaroos and Commensalism

A Western Grey Kangaroo & joey in the pouch is shown.Background is aboriginal music. A Willy Wagtail illustrates a commensalism relationship. Filmed on Kanga...

Remoras, Cobias & Rainbow Runners - Reef Life of the Andaman - Part 22

Remoras, cobias and rainbow runners. Part 22 of my DVD, "Reef Life of the Andaman", available at http://www.bubblevision.com/marine-life-DVD.htm or view the ...

Commensalism Sea Anemone and Clownfish 3'48

Mirrored for educational use.

Animal partnerships - David Attenborough - BBC wildlife

David Attenborough looks at how some creatures have formed mutually beneficial partnerships - if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. From the BBC.

Commensalism symbiosis of fish .flv

Commensalism describes a relationship between two living organisms where one benefits and the other is not significantly harmed or helped. http://simple-vide...

Symbiosis

With so many organisms on Earth, living things are bound to interact with one another. Symbiosis is a close relationship between two species. One type of int...

Harmonious Hippos and Crocs

They're ferocious predators, but these crocs don't give hippos a second thought. See All National Geographic Videos http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video...

what is commensalism

created at http://animoto.com.

Commensalism

via YouTube Capture.

4385 videos foundNext > 

2 news items

Haaretz (blog)

Haaretz (blog)
Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:09:21 -0700

There are three major types of symbioses in nature: mutualism, in which both sides benefit; commensalism, in which one side benefits and the other remains unharmed; and parasitism, in which one side feeds off the other and at its expense. In the ...
 
הארץ
Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:56:50 -0700

בטבע יש שלושה סוגים עיקריים של סימביוזה: הדדיות (Mutualism) - לתועלת שני הצדדים; חצי-הדדיות (Commensalism) שבה צד אחד ניזון מהשני אך איננו פוגע בו; וטפילות (Parasitism) שבה צד אחד ניזון מהשני וחי על חשבונו. במשך ההיסטוריה של היחסים הטעונים והעוינים בין ישראל לחמאס, נצפו ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Commensalism

You can talk about Commensalism with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!