Ecological Synergies

It is obvious that all the organisms living on our planet interact in one way or another. It can be direct and indirect interaction but there always is a connection. Synergy means working together and having an influence on one another. Constructive (positive) synergy refers to the situations when it is more effective to cooperate with others to achieve a greater result in the end than working on your own. Bees in a beehive is a great example. Destructive (negative) synergy, also called interference, can sometimes be seen during a teamwork. One of the possible examples from our everyday life is when there is a project with a rigid deadline and you work in a group of people to finish it on time, not all the members can be as effective as you. Some of them can slow the process down or act ineffectively. The result can be not as good as you would achieve all working individually.

As to the biological interaction, it can be divided into 3 groups according to the types of synergy: Predation - when predators feed on the other organisms and have a major impact on the prey population. It is extremely important in terms of population dynamics and creating a balance in an ecosystem. Competition - when organisms strive for the same resources and compete with each other. You've probably heard about the process of natural selection. Such competition leads to the victory of one species and defeat of the others. The latter ones may adapt to the environment or cease to exist. Mutualism - when organisms of different species interact in a mutually beneficial manner.

These different types of cooperation and coexistence lead to various results. Sometimes both parties benefit from it, and other times someone has to sacrifice something. The same logic applies to the situations from our lives. Every day we interact with other people and either benefit from it or get hurt. These are the universal laws of life.