A type of symbiosis called commensalism?

The accumulation of small heritable changes within populations over time.

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A type of symbiosis called commensalism?

#1  Postby Keep It Real » May 12, 2018 3:06 pm

Doing some research for a project I came across this:

Symbiotic
Hermit crabs and sea anemones have a symbiotic relationship, meaning they live in harmony together. It’s a stable connection that sidesteps the typical prey and predator relationship found in nature. The type of symbiosis they engage in is called commensalism. Commensalism means one organism benefits and the other organism isn’t harmed by the partnership. Neither the hermit crab nor the sea anemone is negatively affected by their symbiotic and commensalistic relationship.

Protection
The hermit crab gains protection from predators by its relationship with the sea anemone. Scientists aren’t certain if the hermit crab uses a mechanical or chemical means to communicate a potential threat to the anemone, but the anemone responds to the alert just the same.The sea anemone spreads out long stinging threads over the hermit crab like a bright pink curtain. The anemone also extends its stinging tentacles out as additional protection. A hermit crab is less likely to be eaten by a larger predator fish if he has an anemone onboard.

Food
So what does the sea anemone get in return for protecting the hermit crab? Since the sea anemone will eat just about anything in the sea, it gets to eat whatever tidbits the hermit crab leaves behind. The hermit crab does the work of capturing dinner and the sea anemone cleans up the leftovers. It’s a steady food supply for the sea anemone.


http://animals.mom.me/relationship-between-hermit-crabs-sea-anemones-1857.html

It seems that both organisms benefit; and so the term 'commensalism' is confusing as defined (red). The symbiotic relationship between the crab and the whelk which provided its shell seems more aptly described by that term as described...I is confused :scratch:
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Re: A type of symbiosis called commensalism?

#2  Postby Keep It Real » May 12, 2018 3:15 pm

Image
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Re: A type of symbiosis called commensalism?

#3  Postby zoon » May 12, 2018 5:54 pm

Keep It Real wrote:Doing some research for a project I came across this:

Symbiotic
Hermit crabs and sea anemones have a symbiotic relationship, meaning they live in harmony together. It’s a stable connection that sidesteps the typical prey and predator relationship found in nature. The type of symbiosis they engage in is called commensalism. Commensalism means one organism benefits and the other organism isn’t harmed by the partnership. Neither the hermit crab nor the sea anemone is negatively affected by their symbiotic and commensalistic relationship.

Protection
The hermit crab gains protection from predators by its relationship with the sea anemone. Scientists aren’t certain if the hermit crab uses a mechanical or chemical means to communicate a potential threat to the anemone, but the anemone responds to the alert just the same.The sea anemone spreads out long stinging threads over the hermit crab like a bright pink curtain. The anemone also extends its stinging tentacles out as additional protection. A hermit crab is less likely to be eaten by a larger predator fish if he has an anemone onboard.

Food
So what does the sea anemone get in return for protecting the hermit crab? Since the sea anemone will eat just about anything in the sea, it gets to eat whatever tidbits the hermit crab leaves behind. The hermit crab does the work of capturing dinner and the sea anemone cleans up the leftovers. It’s a steady food supply for the sea anemone.


http://animals.mom.me/relationship-between-hermit-crabs-sea-anemones-1857.html

It seems that both organisms benefit; and so the term 'commensalism' is confusing as defined (red). The symbiotic relationship between the crab and the whelk which provided its shell seems more aptly described by that term as described...I is confused :scratch:

Yes, as you say, the relationship between hermit crabs and their sea anemones does seem to be an example of mutualism rather than commensalism, going by Wikipedia's definitions here:
Commensalism, in ecology, is a class of relationships between two organisms where one organism obtains food or other benefits from the other without affecting it. This is in contrast with mutualism, in which both organisms benefit from each other, amensalism, where one is harmed while the other is unaffected, and parasitism, where one benefits while the other is harmed.

A peer reviewed paper here describes the relationship as "facultative mutualism": they usually both benefit when together, but each can manage well enough without the other and occasionally the crabs, if they are hungry enough, have been known to eat their sea anemones:
Living organisms have complex interrelations, which, when referring to close associations between two species, are defined using the generic term symbiosis (Henry 1966). One of the most common cases of symbiosis in marine ecosystems is between cnidarians and hermit crabs (Decapoda: Anomura); over 100 species of cnidarians have been reported in such associations (Williams and McDermott 2004). Sea anemones (Anthozoa: Actiniaria), though, are the only cnidarian symbionts that are actively hosted by hermit crabs and not haphazardly fixed on their gastropod shells during larval settlement (Gusmão and Daly 2010). The development of this symbiosis depends strongly on the availability of gastropod shells, which provide both refuge for hermit crabs and substratum for the settlement of sea anemones (Conover 1978; Brooks 1989).

These associations in most cases constitute impressive examples of facultative mutualism, since the symbiosis is reciprocally advantageous for both partners (Brooks and Gwaltney 1993; Patzner 2004), and not exclusively obligatory (Hazlett 1981). Through the symbiosis both partners gain protection against predators, the hermit crab via the anemone’s nematocysts (Brooks 1989) and the sea anemone via the hermit crab’s behavior of avoiding or even fighting animals attempting to prey on their attached sea anemones (Brooks and Gwaltney 1993). The sea anemone gains additional benefits by consuming residues from the hermit crab’s food, and by exploring additional resources via its movement as it increases its dispersal capability and gains suitable substratum (Brooks 1989; Gusmão and Daly 2010). The great importance of the symbiosis is manifested by the behavior of the hermit crabs. Under increased levels of predation, they inhabit shells with more sea anemones (Ross and Boletzky 1979), transferring the anemones when changing a shell, or they even steal sea anemones from other crabs (Ross 1979). However, when being starved, hermit crabs may prey on the anemones attached on their shell (Imafuku et al. 2000).
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Re: A type of symbiosis called commensalism?

#4  Postby Keep It Real » May 12, 2018 6:32 pm

Cheers zoon, especially for the paper segment. I didn't want to just wiki it myself before posting because I thought others might find it an interesting topic too. I wonder what the term is for a symbiotic relationship where both parties are harmed (if, indeed, such a term exists) - such as that between abusive human(s) and their victim(s), assuming the former is/are decent enough to feel regret/guilt at their reprihensible behaviour at some point, that is, or perhaps because they get nicked for it and have to rot in a cell, or the victim's friends decide to exact "justice" etc etc etc etc
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