from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of mutualism.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Plants and their pollinators are often in coevolutionary mutualisms.


  • Examples of mutualisms include Rhizobium bacteria growing in nodules on the roots of legume plants, insects pollinating the flowers of angiosperms, or cleaner fish and client fish.

    Community ecology

  • Many mutualisms involve species living closely together (symbiosis); a species may be so dependent that it cannot live without its mutualistic partner (obligate mutualism).


  • Defensive mutualisms are interactions in which one species receives food or shelter in return for protecting its partner species from predators or parasites.


  • In many trophic mutualisms, a plant provides energy from photosynthesis to a partner species.


  • Dispersive mutualisms are interactions in which one species receives food in exchange for moving the pollen or seeds of its partner.


  • Trophic mutualisms are interactions in which both species receive a benefit of resources.


  • One of the tightest mutualisms known in nature is that between figs and wasps.

    The Fruit Hunters

  • Just such a scenario arises in a number of plant-pollinator mutualisms in which the pollinator deposits eggs on the plant, which then develop into herbivorous larvae.

    EurekAlert! - Breaking News

  • This is most clearly seen in the pollination mutualisms involving hummingbirds and flowers, where the structure of flower and bill have co-evolved to accommodate each other and make a perfect fit.

    Signs of the Times


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.