Symbiotic relationship in the rainforest

Rainforest Ecosystem - PowerKnowledge Life Science

symbiotic relationship in the rainforest

A relationship between two species in which one species is harmed while the other benefits; a type of symbiosis. The symbiotic relationships in the rainforest are complicated webs of mutually beneficial interactions between two or more species. There are innumerable instances of symbiotic interactions in rainforests, Plants and butterflies: Certain Passifloraceae plants have odd relationships with.

9) Symbiotic interactions

Recently, it has been realized that the ant-fungal association is even more complex. But when the garden is stressed, or if the ants are removed, the Escovopsis fungi explode in numbers and overwhelm the fungal garden. Then the ant population will decline due to lack of food, at least until another garden can be established. It appears that still other compounds produced by the ants may act to inhibit the growth of alien bacteria and fungi which might invade the garden, although the exact roles of these secretions are not yet known Ariniello, ; Currie, Certain Passifloraceae plants have odd relationships with Heliconiine butterflies.

The butterflies lay their eggs on the tips of the plant shoots which the caterpillars like to eat. When there are no eggs on the shoots, the plant produces yellow nectaries which mimic eggs, or other structures stipules which look like young caterpillars. Very common are highly specific relationships between a pollinator species and a plant, such as those between figs and their wasp pollinators.

Figs are dioecious, that is, they have separate male and female plants.

  • These Symbiotic Relationships in the Rainforest are Truly Remarkable

The male dies, and the female wasp leaves the fruit, picking up pollen from the male flower within the fig. She then flies to another tree which has young figs, and enters a fruit. If the fig is female, and contains female flowers, pollen on her body will fertilize them; seeds will subsequently form.

Symbiotic Relationships in the Rain Forest | Sciencing

The wasp grub developing from this egg consumes the ovary of the gall flower and develops into an adult wasp. In a broad sense, these are categorized into three different types - mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism. When both the organisms involved in the process of biological interaction benefit from each other, it is known as a 'mutualism relationship'.

When one of the two organisms involved benefits from the interaction, while the other remains unaffected, it is known as 'commensalism relationship'.

And lastly, when one organism benefits from the interaction at the cost of the other organism - which is subjected to harm, it is known as 'parasitism relationship'. Mutualism The relationship between the capuchin monkeys and flowering trees in the tropical rainforests is the best example of mutualism in this biome. When the capuchin monkey feeds on nectar in these flowers by lapping it up, it gets pollen on its face - which it eventually transfers to other flowers in the process of feeding on them.

In this way, the trees provide the capuchin species with food, while the capuchin monkey facilitates pollination of flowers of this tree. For example, the leaf cutter ant has symbiotic relationships with fungi that they grow as food. The leaf cutter ants cut small pieces off leaves in the jungle and take them underground into their tunnels. They create small chambers where they store the leaf cuttings.

symbiotic relationship in the rainforest

Fungus grows on the leaves and the ants use bits of the fungus to feed their young. Through the symbiotic relationship, both the fungus and the young ants get fed. A chocolate tree has a much more complicated series of symbiotic relationships with a variety of other species, providing a complex example of mutualism in the tropical rainforest.

Symbiosis: Mutualism, Commensalism, and Parasitism

To ensure pollination, the chocolate tree produces tiny buds that die and rot. These are ideal homes for the midges that it needs to pollinate its flowers. Once the flowers are pollinated, they grow into large, brightly-colored seed pods.

symbiotic relationship in the rainforest

The seed pods are filled with a delicious, fleshy pulp and bitter seeds. With these pods, the chocolate tree attracts monkeys and squirrels that eat the pods but spit out the bitter seeds, in another symbiotic relationship. The chocolate tree relies on this relationship to scatter its seeds so more chocolate trees can grow. A more complex three-way arrangement is the infestation of chocolate trees with mealy bugs.