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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #1125

> December 8, charley wrote:

> Even "parasitism" is mutualism.  The specific form of mutualism
> where both species tend to benefit (possibly not requiring an
> obligatory relationship) is "symbiotic mutualism" or "synergistic
> mutualism".
> If I recall from 10 years ago, there were five categories of mutualism.
> I can look them up if anyone cares.

Sorry to belabor the topic, but I believe you have these terms in reverse.
Symbiosis literally means "living together," and includes interrelationships
between species regardless of relative benefit to either partner. The four major
categories of symbiosis are:

    phoresis -- two organisms traveling together  e.g. bacteria on the leg of a
    mutualism -- both organisms benefit
    commensalism -- one organism benefits, other is unharmed
    parasitism -- one organism benefits, other is harmed

Some authors do restrict the use of the word symbiosis to include mutualism
only, but the most commonly accepted use of the word is as originally suggested
by A. de Bary in 1879 and detailed above.

                                                Dave Gauthier
                                                gauthie9 at pilot_msu.edu