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Partnerships in the Sea

Partnerships in the Sea: Hong Kong's Marine Symbioses

Brian Morton
Illustrated by Juliana Depledge
Copyright Date: 1988
Pages: 140
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  • Book Info
    Partnerships in the Sea
    Book Description:

    Hong Kong's position on the southern coast of China provides her with a great diversity of animals living in association with each other in the surrounding seas. The many examples of association used in the book reflect this diversity and explore some of the many ways marine life lives together -- not always in open conflict but, more often, in harmony and sometimes in surprising co-operation.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-240-5
    Subjects: Aquatic Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. List of Plates
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  6. Chapter 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    None of the dramatic and sweeping changes that influenced the biological world in the latter part of the 19th Century, was more profound than the writings of Charles Darwin. He gave biology a theory that lent understanding to the widely and popularly held view of the time, that life is an eternal struggle, red in fang and claw, with only the strongest, hardiest and fleetest surviving — the remainder but fodder or meat for the successful. Such crassness was not his view of life, but it was the way his findings were popularly interpreted. Animals were regarded as being in competition,...

  7. Chapter 2 Language, Names and Definitions
    (pp. 3-14)

    It is an essential human characteristic to define, understand and name all objects, even abstractions, that impinge upon us. Anything new requires much handling, inspection, and discussion until with consensus, a definition and finally a name is obtained. It then becomes a familiar part of our normal lives. In the same way, all life, in its many bizarre forms, also requires much puzzling over. There is great excitement when a new species is discovered, but no such species is valid until it is defined, described and accepted by the scientific community at large. By the same token, the multitude of...

  8. Chapter 3 Aegism: Associations for Protection
    (pp. 15-32)

    This book commences its story of plant-animal and animal—animal relationships in the seas of Hong Kong with categories that do not fit neatly into the more easily interpreted categories of commensalism, mutualism and parasitism that are to follow. Indeed, many modern definitionists usually restrict themselves to the three categories above and what will be discussed are incorporated into one or other of them. But I believe there is another category which is encompassed by the term aegism, itself embracing the older terms of epizoism, endoecism, inquilinism and phoresis.

    The common thread linking these associations is protection, with one species...

  9. Chapter 4 Commensalism: Meal Sharing
    (pp. 33-54)

    Commensalism is the term most glibly applied to animal associations and in many instances wrongly so. The term ‘commensal’ was first coined by van Beneden in 1876 and was used in the context of ‘messmate’. The concept encompasses all those relationships based around a gastronomic hospitality, that is a unilaterally beneficial and certainly non-harmful association grounded in nutrition. Such a clear definition has been expanded of late to encompass the concepts of shelter, protection, transport, warning and so on.

    In almost all associations, it is impossible to be certain that only a single benefit is derived. Thus, as we have...

  10. Chapter 5 Mutualism: Benefits for Both
    (pp. 55-78)

    At the superficial level, the term mutualism, highly suggestive of reciprocal benefit, seems easy to understand and thus to define. But what is reciprocal benefit? When does the situation arise whereby one partner benefits slightly more than the other to swing the definition into aegism? In cases where one partner benefits more in terms of food, does this swing the relationship more towards commensalism or maybe even to the further extreme of parasitism?

    There is a key to aid understanding, however, and it concerns itself with, of all things, cleanliness. We can anthropomorphize this further and speak of ‘good housekeeping’,...

  11. Chapter 6 Parasitism: One-sided Associations
    (pp. 79-100)

    A category of plant and animal associations that has been most extensively studied is parasitism. This is because of the many species of parasites which affect man and his many activities and are thus of socio-economic and medical importance. The range of human parasites: viruses, fungi, bacteria, protozoans, worms, mites and insects, gives an idea of the importance of parasitism in the life of but one species. For every human parasite there are probably just as many others dependent upon each other mammalian species. Considering the animal kingdom as a whole, therefore, we can begin to realize the extent to...

  12. Chapter 7 Multiple Associations
    (pp. 101-112)

    In the preceding pages, various chapters have illustrated facets of animal interrelationships in the coastal seas of Hong Kong. Aside from herbivory and predation, which are also kinds of relationships, more intimate associations fall into four major categories, aegism, commensalism, mutualism and parasitism. I have tried to illustrate these concepts by using local examples from a wide variety of different animal groups. For the most part, simple one to one relationships have been discussed to illustrate the various facets of each category. In some cases, however, the reader will have noticed that on different pages the same animal is apparently...

  13. Chapter 8 Epilogue
    (pp. 113-114)

    The preceding chapters have taken us on a voyage from the simple to the complex and, with the example of corals and their mutualistic relationship with zooxanthellae, given an insight into the fantastic complexities of coral reefs and die associations they have engendered and continue to foster. A coral reef can be likened to a microcosm of the world, for within its skeletal framework has evolved a community of great wealth and diversity. Here, species are seen to be living together with a remarkable degree of harmony, in an amazing array of categories that encompass all those discussed herein. Superficially,...

  14. A Taxonomic Guide
    (pp. 115-120)

    The outline classification of the Animal Kingdom presented here is much simplified since certain groups of animals, for example the insects and many quadruped vertebrates, such as amphibians and mammals, are not well represented on the shore and in coastal waters. Classification is only with the higher taxonomic categories of Phylum, Class and sometimes Sub-class. The species reported upon in this book, are however, assigned to their taxonomic categories so that the reader can see at a glance which groups most readily form associations. Moreover, the species recorded are divided into host and symbiont to illustrate again which groups are...

  15. Index
    (pp. 121-124)