RELATIONSHIPS IN THE ENVIRONMENT
Everything in an environment is intertwined, and they all relate to each other in some way, shape, or form. There are three main relationships found in this environment: MUTUALISM, PARASITISM, AND COMMENSALISM.
Mutualism is a relationship in the wild that causes a positive effect or benefit to both parties that participate. This is expressed as +/+.
An example of this is sloths and algae. The sloth's grooved hair allow for the algae to attach easily, and the masses of algae on the sloth camouflage him. This also allows for the sloth and the algae to be closer to the sun.
Parasitism is a type of relationship that benefits one party, but is a hindrance to the other. This is expressed as +/-.
An example is the strangler fig. A seed usually dropped by birds or monkeys, it finds a host tree and creates its roots around it. As it grows, the host tree dies, either by being depleted of its nutrients, or shaded by the strangler fig. The strangler fig continues to strip nutrients from the host until it is no longer able to recover.
Commensalism is where one animal involved in the relationship benefits, and the other is neither helped, nor hurt. This is expressed as +/0.
An example is the relationship between a tree frog and a tree. The frog receives shelter from the tree, but the tree remains unaffected.
COMPETITION in the rain forest is very high, due to the lack of sunlight hitting the ground. If an animal cannot fly, swim, or make its own food, it must compete for resources. An example of such competition is found in jaguars. Jaguars have sharp canine teeth for ripping apart prey, short, stocky build for stealth, and can run longer than any other animal in the rain forest. All of these traits have been adapted to help them thrive in their environment.
PREDATOR-PREY RELATIONSHIP states that the predator and the prey will evolve together. The prey is the organism being eaten and the predator is the organism eating the prey. For example, cheetah and gazelle, or even Venus flytrap (predator) and fly (prey). So How do they evolve together? The predator evolves in ways that are advantageous in getting its prey, whether that be camouflage, speed, stealth, or agility. Likewise, the prey does what it can to avoid the predator, which can be very similar to the predator's adaptations: camouflage, speed, stealth, or agility.