Symbiosis Facts



  • Living things that feed off other living things are called parasites.
  • Living things that depend on each other to live are called symbiotic.
  • Many tropical rainforest trees have a symbiotic relationship with fungi on their roots. The fungi get energy from the trees and in return give the trees phosphorus and other nutrients.
  • A phyte is a plant that grows on another plant.
  • Epiphytes are plants that grow high up on other plants, especially in tropical rainforests.
  • Many plants rely on bees and butterflies to spread their pollen. In return, they give nectar.
  • Saprophytes are plants and fungi that depend on decomposing material, not sunlight, for sustenance.
  • Most orchids are saprophytic as seedlings.
  • Corsiaceae orchids of New Guinea, Australia and Chile are saprophytic all their lives.
  • Various ants, such as leaf-cutter and harvester ants in tropical forests, line their nests with leaves which they cut up. The leaves provide food for fungi which, in lure, provide food for the ants.