The entire biological community in the desert, or the interacting groups of various species, depend on one another through symbiosis, or the interactions between two different species.
There are three kinds of symbiosis that exist in the desert, commensalism, mutualism, and parasitism. Commensalism is where one organism is benefited and the other isn’t affected, such as a cactus providing a home for an owl. Mutualism is where both organisms are benefited, such as a bird eating bugs off of a camel. The camel gets rid of bugs and the bird gets a meal. Parasitism is when one critter benefits and the other is harmed, such as when vines line the trees by the oasis. The vines take nutrients out of the tree, slowly harming it.
Besides symbiosis, different populations, or communities of animals and plants, also depend on one another for food. Animals are all heterotrophs, as they cannot manufacture their own food. There are four types of heterotrophs. One type is a carnivore, like Buddy and I. We eat meat. A second type is an herbivore, like a camel. They thrive off of eating plants.
An omnivore, like a frog, eats both plant matter and meat. Finally, a detritivore, like a vulture, eats dead matter.
Plants, on the other hand, are autotrophic, as they produce their own food. This leads plants and animals to be on different trophic levels. Organisms that share the same functions in the food chain based on relationship to the primary source of energy are on the same trophic level. Since both Liam and I eat meat, we are both on the same trophic level. Since both a cactus and tumbleweed are autotrophs and don’t consume anything, they are on the same trophic level.
. For example, a food chain might begin with the sun then gives energy to some grass, that is eaten by a mouse that is consumed by me.When many different food chains combine, they create a food web.