Symbiotic Relationships

This topic submitted by Laura Broseke ( at 4:13 PM on 3/29/04.

Horror of horrors! Club Med makes the scene at Grotto Beach, San Salvador, Bahamas. See other beautiful phenomena from the Bahamas.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

Symbiotic Relationships

I am interested in exploring different aspects of symbiotic relationships in context of the coral reef including commensalisms, parasitism, and mutualism. I hope to explore different species that use this type of lifestyle, and discover why and how they work. This topic will be interesting, because life on the coral reef is very complex, and more than likely relies on at least one of these types of relationships.

Paper Outline:
Introduction to symbiotic relationships on the coral reef
Description of Commensalisms, Parasitism, and Mutualism
Species that exhibit these types of relationships (one section for each type)
Specific types that are found in the Keys and Bahamas
How and why species interact in these types of relationships
The actual relationship process and benefits to the species
Benefits of the coral reef from these relationships
How the coral reef thrives or struggles as a result of these relationships

“The Enchanted Braid” by Osha Gray Davidson:
After reading the first half of the book, I have found some different information on coral reefs in general, and some specific information on mutualistic relationships. This source will help me to develop a broad overview of the coral reef, and give examples of species that exhibit the relationships.
“Biology 6th edition” by Campbell and Reece:
This source will be useful in describing what symbiotic relationships are, and how species can benefit from the relationships. This source will also give me examples of species that exhibit this relationship.
“When Squid Shine and mushrooms glow, fish twinkle and worms turn into stars” by Mike Toner:
This source will help me to see example of other, underwater species that practice and live through symbiotic relationships, and also the results of these relationships.
“Mutualistic relationships between phytoplankton and bacteria caused by carbon excretion from phytoplankton” by Yasuaki Aota, and Hisao Nakajima:
This source points out some different aspects of mutualistic relationships. It actually suggests that this type of relationship may be present even if the two species are in competition with each other for certain nutrients.
“Mutualism Promotes Diversity and Stability in a Simple Artificial Ecosystem” by Elizaveta Pachepsky, Tim Taylor, and Stephen Jones:
This source discussed how mutualistic relationships affected the dynamics of a system, and how when mutualistic relationships where allowed in the artificial environment, more types of individuals arose, and continued to arise with the continuation of this type of relationship.
“Oceanic Buttercups” by Doug Perrine:
This source focuses on sea anemones and the symbiotic relationships that are exhibited by this organism. This will be helpful in describing different organisms in the Florida Keys and near the Bahamas that are involved in symbiotic relationships.

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