Symbioses are very close relationships between two or more different species. The perhaps best known and classical example of a symbiosis are the lichens, where one fungal partner, the mycobiont, builds the infrastructure to host a population of photosynthetic cells within, the photobiont.
What one perceives macroscopically, appears to be one organism and only microscopic analysis reveals the dualistic character of this association of two organisms closely living together.
Another famous example are mycorrhizal fungi, which are fungi that inhabit the roots of vascular plants and with their fine meshwork of hyphae that widely extends into the soil greatly enhance the nutrient uptake of their host plant.
Symbioses are a very widespread ecological phenomenon of two different organisms living very closely together. It is often assumed that a symbiosis is to the benefit of both unequal partners, that both symbionts gain from their relationship, more specifically this association is called mutualism. The borderline between mutualism, where both benefit, and parasitism, where one partner exploits the other, is, however, not always clear cut and the character of a symbiotic relationship might even change over time. Thus mutualism and parasitism are only the extreme ends of one and the same scale of a symbiosis.
Editors: Frank Bungartz, Scott T. Bates.
Other Contributors: André Aptroot, Franklin Arboleda, Xavier Arturo, Othmar Breuss, Paul Cannon, Philippe Clerc, Carolina Cornejo, Paul Diederich, Damien Ertz, Tassilo Feuerer, Paul Gamboa, Marusa Herrera, Teresa Iturriaga, Kerry Knudsen, James Lawrey, Robert Lücking, Bibiana Moncado, Fredy Nugra, Leif Ryvarden, Matthias Schultz, Harrie Sipman, Adriano Spielman, Ulrik Søchting, Anders Tehler, Leif Tibell, Camille Truong, William A. Weber, Martin Westberg, Frauke Ziemmeck.
!There is currently no CDF Checklist information available for this taxonomic group. If you are a specialist in this group, we welcome your participation.
You are welcome to download and use this information acknowledging the origin of the data.
This list should be cited as follows: