Monday, January 10, 2011

Mutualism, Commensalism, Parasitism, and Competition in the Chesapeake Bay


Boring Sponge

Parasitism- The boring sponge bores through the bay's oysters' shells and may kill the oyster.

Mutualism- The clownfish and the sea anenome benefit eachother.  It has been suggested that the activity of the clownfish results in greater water circulation around the sea anemone. In addition to providing food for the clownfish, the sea anemone also provides safety due to its poison. The clownfish is dependent on the sea anemone for its daily bread. After the anemone paralyzes and eats a fish, the clownfish will polish off the remaining uneaten bits and pieces. In return, the clownfish helps to keep the anemone free of dead tentacles by eating these. The clown fish also helps the anemone get food by using its bright coloration to lure unsuspecting fish into the vicinity of the anemone.

Clownfish and Sea Anemone

Competition- The oyster and the slipper lampet (a type of snail) have a competitive relationship. They compete for space. When oysters began to die off from overfishing, the slipper lampet invaded the oyster beds and began to grow like crazy.

Slipper Lampet
Commensalism- Barnacles are a well-documented example of commensalism. They hook themselves to another organism such as a whale, and while they don't really harm it, they do get some benefit by having a place to stay. It also helps that this means they are dragged through the water quickly, since they are filter feeders.



  1. This was helpful information for my report. The only thing that wasn't helpful was the mutualism example. Clownfish and sea anemone are an example of mutualism, but this takes place in the open ocean, not an estuary. Otherwise, this was great information for my report. Thank you.

    1. Wow, are you that thick? This says ESTUARY NOT OCEAN

    2. That's kinda what he was saying stupid ass.

    3. That's kinda what he was saying stupid ass.