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Title: Parasitism, commensalism, and mutualism: exploring the many shades of symbioses
Contributor(s): Leung, Tommy  (author); Poulin, Robert (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: Symbiotic associations are not only ubiquitous in nature, but they also play fundamental roles in ecology and evolution. This paper discusses symbiosis with regards to the fitness costs and benefits conferred to the organisms involved in such interactions, and how the varying nature of these costs and benefits impinges on the way these associations are labelled. Focusing on recent research as examples, we discuss the influence of environmental factors, ontogenetic and evolutionary time, and the symbionts' life history traits on the interaction dynamics of symbiotic associations, and argue that symbiotic interactions are highly plastic across circumstances and timescales. We conclude that many symbioses do not fit neatly into the traditional categories of mutualism, commensalism, or parasitism, and urge caution when using such labels to describe biotic interactions.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Vie et Milieu, 58(2), p. 107-115
Publisher: Universite Pierre et Marie Curie
Place of Publication: France
ISSN: 0240-8759
Field of Research (FOR): 060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified
060307 Host-Parasite Interactions
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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