Communities & Ecosystems

Projects

Primary Productivity
Population Dynamics
Biome Project

Ecology Information

Communties
Ecosystems
Trophic Levels
Niche
Predator & Prey
Parasitism
Symbiosis
Mutalism
Commensalism

Community/ Ecosystem Sites

Mutalism
Macrotermes bellicosus. Insecta Inspecta World.
Pinyon-Juniper Habitat
The Fungi

References

Henderson's Dictionary of Biological Terms, by Eleanor Lawrence. 10th Ed.

Biology. Principles & Explorations, by George B. Johnson and Peter H. Raven. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 1999.

 


Return SAS Home
e-mail Kevin C. Hartzog

Communities & Ecosystems

 

Mutalism

Some populations interact in a mutalistic manner in communities, one form of cooperation. In a mutalistic situation, two populations benefit equally. One example of such a mutalistic cooperation involves two insects, ants and aphids. Aphids feed on trees by sucking sugary tree sap out of the tree's phloem. But aphids are not very neat, just look at cars parked under aphid infested trees. The cars are covered with tree sap. But not all of the sap reaches your car. Some species of ants take advantage of this smaller insect by effectively domesticating the aphids. The ants directs the aphids from plant to plant, then milk them for the sap like a group of dairy cows.