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Three Essential Ecology Questions and Biotic Factors

The Three Ecological Questions

1. Where do the organisms live?
2. Why do the organisms live there?
3. How many organisms live in that area?

Biotic factors are living components that are part of an individual's environment.  

Biotic Factors and How They Live or Get Affected

Mutualism ( +/+ )

Mutualism is a species interaction in which both biotic factors are benefited from the relationship.

The Bee and the Flower

Bees fly from to many flowers gathering nectar, which they make into their food. This benefits the bees. When they land in a flower, the bees get some pollen on their hairy bodies, and when they land in the next flower, some of the pollen from the first one rubs off the bee. This is pollinating the plants, and benefits them. Since the bees get food and the plants get to reproduce this is a mutualistic relationship. 

The Human and the Plants

This one should be obvious but I will explain it just in case. A human needs oxygen to breathe. Plants, after going through a process called photosynthesis, release oxygen. This is helping the human. The plant though, cannot function without carbon dioxide. Humans breathe out carbon dioxide. The plants get it from the human. They get benefited as well. This means it is a mutualistic relationship.

Parasitism ( -/+ )

Parasitism is kind of straight to the point so I will give just one example. It is one that happens quite often.

The Human and the Mosquito

The mosquito, obviously, is a parasite. It is hurting the human taking its blood. This is hurting the human. The human gets negatively affected by the mosquito. The mosquito gains its nutrients through the human's blood. Since one biotic factor is being negatively affected and one is being positively affected, it is a parasitic relationship.

Commensalism ( 0/+)

Commensalism is a relationship between two biotic factors in which one benefits and the other isn't harmed or benefited. 

The Barnacles and the Whale

The barnacles attack to the whale to get cover from their predators. The whale is their form of transportation as well. This only helping the barnacles. The whale isn't hurt when the barnacles attach to it. The whale isn't benefited by it either. This is a great example of commensalism.