This paper explores the partnership between plants and animals in the context of an ecosystem where both benefit from the partnership and are indispensable partners to each other. This is being done in the context of discussing in detail some of the core themes that have been the subject of intense focus in class…
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In the most fundamental relationship, animals need plants in order to get the most basic sustenance, outside of which animal life is not possible. This is because plants are able to manufacture their own organic matter to grow themselves, from sunlight and owing to their ability to make use of sunlight to do so with photosynthesis. On the other hand, such distinctions in roles between plants and animals are not clear cut and absolute, owing to the fact that some organisms, such as fungi, do not rely on chlorophyll to thrive, and yet are able to thrive as well, and can form the basis of life for some animals. Moreover, as early literature on plant and animals partnerships observe, some sponges and hydras, among others, are animals that also contain chlorophyll. Meanwhile it has been observed that where animals have chlorophyll and are able to grow their own food within, that chlorophyll eventually is traced to plant life. Fungi also thrive on organic materials that are based on plants, meanwhile. In general, therefore, the most fundamental relationship is that of plants being the providers of the organic matter on which animals and the rest of life rely on to survive. On the other hand, plants need carbon dioxide from animals to be able to perform the photosynthesis that is the originator of this relationship chain, and which allows plants to make the organic substance, glucose, on which the whole of the animal kingdom stands on (BBC, 2013; Farabee, 2007; Wilson, 2013; Reckitt Benckiser, n.d.; Brandt, 1882; Columbia University Press, 2013; Schulze et al., 2005, p. 602-605). The literature notes that a formal term used to denote the partnership relationship between plants and animals as symbiosis. In the examples above, where animal life is able to incorporate chlorophyll from plants and grow their own sustenance, the partnership is made evident by the fact that it is plants that are the ultimate source of the chlorophyll, and plants themselves benefit from the expiration of carbon dioxide from animals which they then need to perform photosynthesis. (Brandt, 1882; Schulze et al, 2005, pp. 602-605). On the other hand, the hallmark of true symbiotic relationships is that of two organisms that need each other in a fundamental way, without which both parties cannot survive, but the definition also extends to other kinds of relationships, but the distinguishing mark is that of mutual derived benefits and good from each other’s existence and fundamental ways of living and acting in their environments. For instance, in herbivores such as cockroaches and cows, the cows benefit from intestinal bacteria that allow for the breaking down of the cellulose that they eat. The bacteria meanwhile are able to thrive from that cellulose. Without the other, neither party is able to survive. On the other hand, both bacteria and cows rely on the plants to survive, even as the plants that they consume benefit from the respiration activities of both. More obvious examples are the relationships between the fig and the fig wasp, where the fig wasps provide fertilizers that the fig thrives on, while the fig meanwhile provides food for the fig wasp larva. The same is true for the yucca moth and the yucca plant, where the same symbiotic relationship between plant and animal is observed (Columbia University Press, 2013; Schulze
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8 Pages(2000 words)Research Paper
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