Apr 16 2010

the perfect symbionts?

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The sea anemones and the clown fish are well known to be a mutualistic pair and lot of research have been done about this pair of symbionts. We can also say that this relationship is a near perfect one in all aspects. Mutualism is an ecological interaction between two organisms in which both gain increased […]

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Apr 16 2010

Figs can be parasites too!

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(Picture from van Noort and Rasplus, depicting fig-wasps emerging from the gall flowers)   It is rather well-known that figs (Ficus sp.) serve as keystone species in Singapore’s forests. These plants fruit year-round and serve as important sources of food for frugivores, especially when other trees are not fruiting. They also display mutualistic relationships with […]

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Apr 15 2010

Here Kitty, Kitty!

Published by under species interactions

Pet-human symbiosis is often classified as a mutualistic or commensalist one.
Cats and humans- mutualistic?
I beg to differ.

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Apr 15 2010

An inter-species relationship – when love is reciprocated.

Published by under species interactions

The parent’s shelter may not always be the best for the child. This may be the most apt description for the clownfish (anemonefish), whose true protectors in the coral reef ecosystems are the sea anemones instead of their parents (Roach, 2003). A mutualistic relationship is one where both partners of different species derive benefit from […]

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Apr 14 2010

Termites?Don’t blame them!

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Many of us detest termites, as we think that they are the culprit behind the destruction of our wood furnitures. However, as what I have chanced upon through reading (for another module to be exact=p), termites  should not be fully blamed for such “destructive nature”, as it  is actually the protozoans living within them which […]

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Apr 14 2010

Microhabitat and Relationships: Mushrooms

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Ever thought of something growing right beside your steps? This is noticed when I hopped down the slope at King Edward VII Hall in NUS. It is a mushroom. It seems that it is most probably under the Order Agaricales, Family Psathyrellaceae. During observation, the bunch of mushroom was among piles of dead leaves. After […]

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Apr 14 2010

Cassiopea spp. and the case of undersea mutualism.

Published by under species interactions

Sea anemone? Soft coral? A dead jellyfish? An upside-down jellyfish? If your guess was the latter, you would be right. Cassiopea is a genus of jellyfish that live their lives standing on their heads. Why would they do that? Cassiopea spp. house thousands of photosynthetic zooxanthallae within their mesoglea (Berryman, n.d.). Zooxanthallae provide carbon for […]

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Apr 14 2010

Look closely, the caterpillar isn’t dead.

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Caterpillar (to ant): Hey, let’s make a deal. If I supply you with food, will you give me protection against predators? Studies have shown that certain species of butterfly larvae (in particular Family Lycaenidae) are involved in food-for-protection mutualistic relationships with ants. This is termed myrmecophily, or the positive interspecies association between ants and butterflies. […]

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Apr 14 2010

Alpheus sp. & Istigobius sp.: Best Friends Forever (BFF)

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(photograph from ‘The annotated budak’) Gobies (Istigobius sp.) and snapping shrimps (Alpheus sp.) are marine organisms common to the Singapore waters and one location where they can be spotted easily would be Labrador Rocky Shore. The two organisms form a unique and symbiotic relationship known as mutualism where both parties benefit from the positive interactions […]

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Apr 14 2010

The Mutual Affair

Published by under species interactions

Have you ever noticed and wondered why Coral Reefs out skirting the southern islands of Singapore appear to be in various colours?  This is due to the presence of Mutualistic Relationship between the Reef-building hard corals (Order Scleractinia) and the Zooxanthellae, Symbiodinium spp. These microscopic single cell algae live within the corals’ polyp tissues and are […]

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Apr 14 2010

White & Fluffy, Sweet but Deadly?

A few weeks ago, I was surprised to find that my Watermelon Begonia, Pellonia repens, had some white clumpy patches growing on the underside of its leaves. It looked quite disgusting, and I thought it was a fungal infection. Cottony lumps under leaves So I posted some pictures of them on Facebook, and my friend […]

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Apr 13 2010

Bats, not as bad as you think.

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To many, bats are dirty, scary and mysterious while to the fruit farmers, fruit bats are persecuted as pests for the damage they do to their yield. All of these have rendered bats to be among the most hated and most feared animals in the world, hiding under a bushel the importance of fruit bat […]

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Apr 11 2010

If you don’t get your end of the deal, get even.

Published by under plants

Pollination, which is a term for sexual reproduction process in plants, is a common and ubiquitous form of mutualism between flowers and their pollinators. According to Poole (2004), the use of a pollinator can be much more exact if the plant species can attract a pollinator, attach its pollen to it, and then get the […]

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Apr 11 2010

Weaver Ants: Friend or Foe?

Published by under species interactions

Often, concepts and lessons taught in class are thought to be something observed in the laboratory or in some jungle where students will never go. Yet a trip to one’s own backyard or park proves otherwise. While taking a walk in a park (literally), a trail of Weaver Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) on a tree trunk […]

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