Syntropy: DefinitionEdit

A state in which an organism lives off the by products of another organism. The secondary organism is assisted (or dependent) on the nutrients excreted or lost be the primary organism.  A few examples include dung beetles living off the dung of cows or dust mites living off the discarded skin cells of humans or other mammals. This relationship differs from mutualism because these relationships are not always mutually beneficial, 


but at the same time they are not parasitic*. 

  • Dust mites release a chemical that can cause humans to slave off more skin cells as a result of an allergic reaction. This could be perceived as negative and therefore somewhat parasitic. 

Works CitedEdit

  • McInery, Michael M., and Jessica R. Seiber. "Microbial Syntrophy: Ecosystem-Level Biochemical Cooperation." Microbe Magazine. American Society for Microbiology, Nov. 2011. Web. 4 Sept. 2013.
  • "Syntrophy." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 08 July 2013. Web. 04 Sept. 2013.