Mutualists may be symbiotic or nonsymbiotic. 
  • Symbiotic:  two organisms living together in close association; individuals interact physically and their relationship is such that one cannot live without the other (i.e. fungal-algal symbiosis in lichens)
  • Nonsymbiotic:  Mutualists live independent lives yet cannot survive without each other (this type of mutualism is much more common).  The example which most prevalent are flowers and pollinators.


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