As per the meaning of "symbiosis", the is a long-term interaction between two organisms which live in every other"s vicinity. Basically, there space three varieties of symbiotic relationships: (i) mutualistic, (ii) commensal, and also (iii) parasitic. These organic interactions have actually a vital role come play in the smooth functioning of any given ecosystem.

You are watching: Examples of commensalism in the desert




Is that really around sand?

The indigenous ‘desert’ appears to have come to be synonymous come sand dunes of late, but did you recognize that just 20 percent that the world’s deserts are made that sand.

In the rainforest biome, army ants and antbirds re-publishing a peculiar relationship. Military ants are notorious for their tendency to ruin anything that they come throughout when they are marching top top the forest floor. In what might seem unusual, the antbirds space seen complying with the swarm of army ants. Unexplained no doubt, but these birds carry out it for a reason. By the moment these ants are done through their plundering, there is a feast all set for the antbirds in the kind of leftovers. In this way, the antbirds benefit from the colony of military ants, if the army ants remain unaffected.

Now this happens to it is in an apt example of symbiotic partnership in the rainforest biome―a commensal connection to it is in precise. While there is no dearth of such instances in the rainforests, the is worth noting that other biomes too, have actually a same share that such biological interactions to boast of; the desert biology is no exception.

In biology, synergy or symbiotic partnership is the procedure of interaction between two various organisms, where either both organisms or one of them end up as beneficiaries.

Symbiotic relationship in the Desert Biome

Before we begin with examples, you need to know that the hatchet ‘desert’ describes arid land with very tiny or certain no vegetation and also precipitation. If we are to walk by this definition, approximately 20 percent the the full surface area that the planet deserve to be thought about a desert. The desert biome might not be as wealthy as the other biomes in regards to biodiversity, but it does boast of some of the many amazing animal adaptations ~ above the planet. In fact, the behavior adaptations of desert pets aptly reflect in the instances of symbiotic relationship in this biome. Given listed below are a pair of instances which will offer you a unstable idea regarding how assorted organisms in the desert biome depend on each various other for survival.


When both organisms associated in a certain interaction advantage from it, the is referred to as a mutualistic relationship. That is further classified right into three types: (i) trophic mutualism (both organisms advantage in the type of resources), (ii) dispersive mutualism (one organism services in the kind of resource, while the other benefits in the type of service), and also (iii) defensive mutualism (both organisms advantage in the type of service).

Example: Mistletoe plant and also Phainopepla

The Phainopepla feeds ~ above mistletoe berries and also disperses the undigested seeds of these berries in the surroundings with its droppings. In this manner, the mistletoe provides food to Phainopepla (resource benefit), while the Phainopepla help the mistletoe spread out (service benefit).

Other instances of mutualism in the desert biome …

» Bees pollinating cacti and depending on it because that food.» The coyote eat fruits and dispersing your seeds through its scat.


When just one organism services from the interaction, while the other remains unaffected that is described as commensalism. In this case, the host organism is no harmed, no one benefited. Choose mutualism, also commensalism is grouped into three different types: (i) phoresy (one organism supplies the other for transportation), (ii) inquilinism (one organism provides the other for housing), and (iii) metabiosis (one organism creates an ideal environment because that the other.)

Examples: Cactus wren and also cholla cactus

The cactus wren builds its swarm in the cholla cactus. In a textbook instance of inquilinism, this turns out come be beneficial for the bird, together it help it keep its egg (and young ones) for sure from predators. Together for the cacti species, it remains unaffected.

Other prominent instances in deserts incorporate …

» The fringe-toed lizard or gopher snake occupying a burrow make by the desert rat.» The creosote shrub growing under the the shade of the holly shrub.


When one of the 2 organisms involved in the interaction gains at the cost of the other, i.e., one organism benefits, when the various other is harmed, it’s considered a parasitic relationship. The organism that benefits native the communication is recognized as the ‘parasite’, if the one which needs to bear the brunt is the ‘host’. Parasitism is further separated into 2 types: (i) biotrophic (host organism is harmed, however doesn’t die) and also (ii) necrotrophic (host organism is harmed to an level that it dies).

Example: Praying mantis and also wasp

In the interaction between the praying mantis and also wasp in the Mojave desert the the unified States, the honest suit lays its egg in the case of eggs laid by the praying mantis. Once the wasp’s eggs hatch, its larvae start feeding on the egg of praying mantis and make their means out.

Other examples in the desert biome encompass …

» The mistletoe species living on organize plants such together desert ironwood.» Fleas living on the body of coyotes and other desert animals.

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Though the desert biology doesn’t stand the end in terms of biodiversity, the does boast the a couple of fascinating qualities that cannot be ignored. ~ all, these and other comparable facts around this biology make it one of the most fascinating biomes on the planet.