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Mutualism may refer to:

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Simple English

Mutualism is a relationship between two organisms which is to the advantage of both. The two organisms usually come from widely different types, often from different phyla or even kingdoms. The term is not used for any cooperation between animals of the same species.

Mutualism is a type of symbiosis which improves the biological fitness of both parties. Examples:

  • Mycorrhiza
  • Rhizobia
  • Many relationships between insects and flowering plants, where the insect gets food, and the plant gets transfer of pollen.
  • Many relationships between gut bacteria and herbivores. The bacteria digest cellulose, and get a regular supply. No animal can digest cellulose by itself.
  • Lichen: an extremely close relationship between algae and fungi. Probably a mutualistic relationship, but less clearly.
  • Figs: each fig tree species is pollinated by its own wasp species.








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