Protocooperation is a type of mutual relationship. Unlike mutualism, protocooperation relationship is not clear. Two organisms interact with each other purely for the benefit. This relationship is only for the benefit they receive from other organism. When there is no interaction, they can survive and grow even in the absence of protocooperation. The interaction need not be between same genus or species or kingdoms unlike other relationship, it can be between different kingdoms.
Protocooperation between soil microorganism and plant:
For instance protocooperation between microorganisms present in the soil and plants which grow in that soil is purely independent. Soil bacteria and fungi interact with each other and produce nutrients. Plants utilize these microorganism synthesized nutrients through root nodules thereby decomposing organic substances. Soil bacteria and fungi help in improving the fertility of the soil and shaping of soil. Plants get essential carbon dioxide and nutrients.
Protocooperation between ants and aphids:
Ant gathers the food from various parts like tress, plants, shrubs, etc. Aphids secrete sugar like sticky substance on the plant saplings. Ants collect those secreted honeydew or sticky sugar substance directly from aphids. This helps in avoiding the presence of predators like lady bird beetles. When aphid’s presence is more, it is detrimental to the plant whereas it is not detrimental to two organisms.
Protocooperation between flowers and insects:
Flowering plants are mostly pollinated by the insects. Insects result in cross pollination of nectar bearing flowering plants. Birds benefit out of this relationship. Insect is benefitted by getting nectar and pollen for its growth.
Protocooperation of birds and fish:
It occur in birds like Egyptian plover also called crocodile birds, native of Saharan Africa removes insect that are found in buffalo, giraffe and antelope back. It also removes leeches from crocodiles open mouth. Cattle Egret native of America removes the flies, unwanted insects, and ticks from the cattle. When this interaction stops birds can find its alternative resources. Similarly fish clean wounded or dead flesh of other fish.
Protocooperation between nitrogen fixing organism and cellulomonas:
Cellulolytic organism like cellulomonas releases glucose by active degradation which is utilized by nitrogen fixing organisms.
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