Dictionary > Mutualism

Mutualism

Definition
noun
A symbiotic relationship between individuals of different species in which both individuals benefit from the association.
Supplement
In this type of symbiosis, both organisms of different species rely on one another for nutrients, protection and other life functions, hence, they are usually found living in close proximity.
It can be thought of as a form of “biological barter” since the species trade resources (for example carbohydrates or inorganic compounds), or services such as gamete or offspring dispersal, or protection from predators.
There are two types of mutualism: obligate mutualism and facultative mutualism.
Word origin: L. mūtu(us): mutual, reciprocal + Gk –ismos, –isma: often directly, often through.

Related forms: mutualist (noun), mutualistic (adjective).

Compare: amensalism, commensalism, parasitism.

See also: cooperation, symbiosis.


You will also like...

A chart depicting Mendel's Law of Dominance
Mendel’s Law & Mendelian Genetics

One of Mendel's law of inheritance is the "law of dominance". There are certain cases though that this pattern is not ob..

Homeostasis by water regulation
Homeostasis of Organism Water Regulation

Osmoregulation is the regulation of water concentrations in the bloodstream, effectively controlling the amount of water..

Oligodendrocyte and Schwann cell
The Central Nervous System

Myelin sheath is essential for a faster conductivity of signals. Know more about this feature of some neurons in the Cen..

Independent Assortment and Crossing Over
Independent Assortment and Crossing Over

This tutorial describes the independent assortment of chromosomes and crossing over as important events in meiosis. Read..

Physiological Homeostasis
Physiological Homeostasis

Homeostasis is essential to maintain conditions within the tolerable limits. Otherwise, the body will fail to function p..

Early Earth
The Origins of Life

This tutorial digs into the past to investigate the origins of life. The section is split into geological periods in the..