what is symbiosis in biology

What does symbiosis mean?
What does mutualism mean in symbiosis?
What does commensalism mean in symbiosis?
What does parasitism mean in symbiosis?
What does predation mean in symbiosis?
What does competition mean in symbiosis?


Earth System
Food Waste
Genetic Engineering
Natural Resources


What is Commensalism as a Symbiotic Relationship?

Commensalism is a symbiotic relationship between two species in which one species benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed to any tangible degree.
One good example of a commensalism relationship are epiphytes that grow on larger trees for support. Epiphytes include species like ferns or orchids. They can grow on larger trees, using them as a surface or support, but the trees are not hurt in any way. 
Another example of this relationship include barnacles on a humpback whale.

Barnacles are small sea organisms, often confused for a mollusk. They attach themselves to larger sea animals including the humpback whale. They use the large body of the whale as a surface and filter feed on them, but the whales are not harmed in any way. A closer look at the skin of a whale will show textures and patches — this would often be a colony of barnacles attached to the whale's body.

go backnext page on symbiotic relationships