How Do Plants and Animals Depend on Each Other?

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Plants and animals depend on each other for several reasons, including production of food, eradication of harmful pests and even propagation. Some interactions between plants and animals are detrimental, such as the serious injury or harm that occurs when animals eat toxic plants. Other relationships, however, like pollination, benefit both species.

The interaction that takes place between plants and animals is complex and occurs in every environment on the planet where both types of organisms coexist. Most relationships between plants and animals are carried out through the food chain, which starts with the creation of energy for plants and some fungi via sunlight. Many plants and fungi perform photosynthesis, which means that they make their own food and energy. Plants form the base level of the food chain and serve as important sources of food and nutrition for many types of animals. Most animals consume a variety of plants that supply them with all the nutrients and minerals they need. After consuming plants, many animals then become sources of food for other organisms higher on the food chain. Pollination is another important relationship between plants and animals as pollinators like bees and butterflies help to spread seeds and pollen from plants for reproduction.