Symbiosis: How a Plant Survives By Making Mice Spit Out Its Seeds | salonjardin.info
Commensalism is a relationship between two organisms where one receives a Burdocks - These are common weeds and dispersal of their seeds is critical to their life cycle. They can also attach to the clothing of humans. Gila woodpecker and small animals - The woodpecker makes holes in Saguaro cacti to get food. The seeds of some plants are dispersed by animals. Plants such as burdock have hooks to which the seed is attached. These hooks easily get caught in the fur. Commensalism being a type of symbiotic relationship between organisms, other types of Burdock Seeds on the Fur of Passing Animals.
North American beaver Castor canadensis — photo credit: Their interactions with plants are legion, and so what better way to introduce the concept of animal-mediated seed dispersal than beavers. Plants have several strategies for moving their seeds around. Wind and gravity are popular approaches, and water is commonly used by plants both aquatic and terrestrial.
Partnering with animals, however, is by far the most compelling method. This strategy is called zoochory. Zoochory has many facets. Two major distinctions are epizoochory and endozoochory. In epizoochory, seeds become attached in some form or fashion to the outside of an animal. The animal unwittingly picks up, transports, and deposits the seeds.
Symbiosis: How a Plant Survives By Making Mice Spit Out Its Seeds
A well known example of this is the genus Arctium. Anyone who has walked through — or has had a pet walk through — a patch of burdocks with mature seed heads knows what a nuisance these plants can be. But their strategy is effective. The burs of Arctium — photo credit: Seeds that are dispersed this way are usually surrounded by fleshy, nutritious fruits desired by animals.
The fruits are consumed, and the undigested seeds exit out the other end of the animal with a bit of fertilizer. Other seeds contain mild laxatives in their seed coats, resulting in an unscathed passage through the animal and a quick deposit.Unbelievable Friendship! People and Wild Animals - Compilation 2018
Some plants have developed mutualistic relationships with specific groups of animals regarding seed dispersal by frugivory. When these animal species disappear, the plants are left without the means to disperse their seedswhich threatens their future survival. Beavers rely on woody vegetation to get them through the winter, but in warmer months, when herbaceous aquatic vegetation is abundant, such plants become their preferred food source.
Water lilies are one of their favorite foods, and through both consumption of the water lilies and construction of wetland habitats, beavers help support water lily populations.
Golson Science Center
The tapeworm steals nutrients from the food in its host's intestine; without a host, the tapeworm is unable to live. The host is harmed by the tapeworm because much of its food that it eats is used by the worm. The tapeworm rarely causes its host to die, but the host suffers from weight loss and decreased energy, as well as many other health problems. Mutualism, on the other hand, is a relationship in which both organisms benefit.
A classic example of a mutualistic relationship is the combination of algae and fungi, called lichens. Lichens are often mistaken for a type of moss. The algae part of the lichen use the fungi as a place to live. The fungi protect the algae from the environment and keeps it from drying out.
The fungi benefits by being able to use the sugar the algae makes through photosynthesis. The algae can't live without the fungi, and the fungi can't live without the algae. A more familiar example of mutualism is the relationship between fruiting plants and animals that eat fruits.
All plants work to make sure that their seeds get dispersed so that the parent plant isn't competing with its offspring for sunlight and water. Fruiting plants have solved this problem by covering their seed with a tasty fruit. Animals come along, eat the fruit, and walk away. Most of the seeds inside the fruit pass through the animals digestive tract unharmed some distance from the parent plant.
The animal benefits by getting to eat the tasty and nutritious fruits and the plants benefit by getting its seeds dispersed.
Examples of Commensalism for a Better Understanding of the Concept
Of course many of the seeds won't survive and the plant had to produce fruit in the process, but no one ever said that both organisms had to benefit equally. Commensalism is a symbiotic relationship where one organism benefits and the other is neither hurt nor harmed.
A good example many of us are probably familiar with deals with plants, like burdock, that disperse their seeds by making them sticky.