Two Ecological Terms and Examples

By Dave Hanks

    			      	Symbiosis or (Mutualism)

The above term refers to species that depend upon each other for the benefit of both organisms. This points out the fact that we all depend upon others for our own wellbeing. In fact, others depending on us makes their return help to us even more beneficial.

Here are some special symbiotic relationships: CLARK’S NUTCRACKER and LIMBER PINE – The bird feeds on the nuts and in return spreads the pine’s seeds, which the tree, being rooted in the earth,is unable to do. GRAY WOLF and BARREN GROUND CARIBOU – The caribou furnish the wolf its food, and the wolf gets rid of the diseased and unproductive, thus keeping the caribou population healthy and at its maximum. SHARK and REMORAS (a tiny fish) – The Remoras are hygienic because they clean the shark’s teeth. In return they get some food and much protection from potential enemies by staying close or in the shark’s jaws. HONEY BEE and FLOWERS – Bee gets nectar and plant gets pollinated.

Ice Cream Species

This refers to an animal’s favorite food – that food it will always select if it is available.

Here are some preferences: GRIZZLIES -> Ground Squirrels SWAINSON’S HAWK -> Rabbits CARIBOU -> Lichens MOUNTIAN LION -> Deer Isolated or semi-isolated areas, with good deer populations, are also endowed with healthy Mountain Lion populations

(Black-Tailed doe – a sub-species of Mule deer)