Symbiosis is the close association or relation between two different organisms whereby
both parties benefit differently. These benefits include food, shelter, transportation or movement
and protection. The relation between a man and a dog is a vivid example of symbiosis. This
association is of great importance in nature since it ensures survival and continuity of certain
organisms which in the end ensures balance in the ecosystem.
There are four major types of symbiosis which include commensalism, mutualism and
parasitism. Commensalism is the type of a symbiotic situation where one-party benefits more. It
is usually viewed as a one-sided type of symbiosis. The other organism is however not in any
way helped or harmed. The benefiting organism mostly gets protection from the other party. An
example of such situation is a spider and a tree. When a spider builds its web on a tree, it obtains
shelter and protection. The tree is however not affected in anyway, either negatively or
positively. Another case study is the relationship between egrets and cattle. When cattle feed,
they stir insect exposing them to the egret birds (Gibert, Tozer & Westoby, 2019). The egrets get
food but cattle are not affected. Mutualism, on the other hand, is a symbiotic situation where
both organism benefit from each other. This relationship in most cases last long. For instance,
man and dog are mutual friends. A dog acts as security to man while the man gives it food. A
dog also receives medical attention from man hence protection from diseases. The relationship is
based on mutual benefits hence mutualism. Parasitism as another major type of symbiosis is
where one organism benefits while the other suffers. This may happen inside or outside the body.
The harmful organism is referred to as a parasite hence the name of the name Parasitic
Symbiosis. The suffering party is called the host. For example, mosquitoes feed on human blood
causing malaria and other diseases. Whereas the parasite which is the mosquito, benefits, the
host which is the human, suffer. The host has to stay alive for the continuity of this relation but
in some situations, the host dies. Aphids and stalk borers feed on plant leading to their deaths.
In conclusion, symbiosis is a very vital relationship in the eco system. The main
importance is that it ensures survival or organisms. When these organisms obtain shelter, food,
protection and transportation, their survival ensured hence balance in the ecosystem. The most
fascinating form of symbiosis is the parasitic symbiosis especially when the host dies. However,
this may be unfortunate, it is very vital for balance in nature. Symbiosis therefore is simple from
a general view but very essential for nature.
Gibert, A., Tozer, W., & Westoby, M. (2019). Plant performance response to eight different
types of symbiosis. New Phytologist, 222(1), 526-542.