Symbiosis and Mutualism
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Symbiosis refers to a close and prolonged association between two organisms of different species. Mutualism refers to mutually beneficial interactions between members of the same or different species. Mutualistic interactions need not necessarily be symbiotic.
Symbiotic and mutualistic interactions are important in evolution because they constitute types of interactions between organisms that affect their fitness. These types of interactions and relationships may assume many forms. An increasing number of investigators have suggested that the prevalence and significance of mutualism have been underestimated in research on cooperation (Dugatkin 1997). Accounting for the evolution of mutualism is challenging, because it often is difficult to quantify the short-term and long-term, direct and indirect, costs and benefits of mutual exchanges and to explain how cooperating organisms avoid exploiter and free-rider...
KeywordsReciprocal Altruism Mutualistic Association Group Defense Mutual Task Beneficial Interaction
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