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What are some example of commensalism in grasslands?

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Quick Answer

An example of commensalism in grasslands is a grasshopper living in a tree. Commensalism is a state in which two organisms have a relationship, but one party benefits while the other is neither helped or harmed, explains Montclair State University.

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Full Answer

Animals using plants for shelter are the most common instances of commensalism in grasslands. For example, a giraffe may use a tree for shade and protection. The giraffe benefits from the shade and protection offered by the tree, while the tree is neither harmed or helped by the presence of the giraffe.

An example of commensalism between two species of animals involves birds hunting for food near cattle. When the cattle eat grass or other plants, nearby insects are exposed to the birds, who then need to exert less time and effort to find a meal. The birds in this relationship benefit from the actions of the cattle, but the cattle do not benefit and are not harmed by the actions of the birds.

Plants also engage in commensalism. Smaller plants rely on the shade and protection of larger plants to establish a root system, but the larger plant doesn't benefit from the relationship and isn't harmed by the seedling. Commensalism is a type of symbiotic relationship that is distinct from parasitic relationships, in which one species benefits and another is harmed, or mutualism, in which both species benefit.

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