Ecological Relationships


Ecological Relationships

An Ecological Relationship is the relationship between organisms in an ecosystem with each other, the ecosystem, and the ecosystem itself with other ecosystems. No organism is an autonomous entity isolated from its surroundings. It is part of its environment, rich in living and non-living elements all of which interact with each other in some fashion. An organism's interactions with its environment are fundamental to the survival of that organism and the functioning of the ecosystem as a whole.

Biological Relationships

In ecology, biological interactions are the relationships between two species in an ecosystem. These relationships can be categorized into many different classes of interactions based either on the effects or on the mechanism of the interaction. The interactions between two species vary greatly in these aspects as well as in duration and strength. Species may meet once in a generation (e.g. pollination) or live completely within another (e.g. endosymbiosis). Effects may range from one species eating the other (predation), to both living together with mutual benefit (mutualism).There is also (commensalism) where in only one of the organisms is benefited and the other is neither benefited nor harmed. (Parasitism) where in one organism is harmed and the other is benefited, the one that is harmed may die and the one benefited is a parasite. Parasites that are found outside a host is called ectoparasites and the ones found inside a hosts body is called endoparasites. (Competition) is the utilization of limited resources by 2 or more organisms.

The interactions between two species need not be through direct contact. Due to the connected nature of ecosystems, species may affect each other through intermediaries such as shared resources or common enemies.

Interactions classified by mechanism

Competition is an association between two species in which both need some limited environmental factor for growth.


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