Commensalism relationship in redwood forest

Coral Root: Parasite in the Redwood Forest — Our City Forest

commensalism relationship in redwood forest

The rooting redwood mushrooms lives under the coastal redwood and helps with the forest health by supplying nutrients for the nutrient cycle. Mutualism is symbiosis that is beneficial to both organisms involved. An example of mutualism in a boreal forest/taiga biome is when bees fly from plant to plant. Coral Root: Parasite in the Redwood Forest any fungi, they feed on mycorrhizae, the symbiotic fungi that enhance the growth of woody plants. Put the two together and you have the ingredients for a parasitic relationship.

Today we have another guest post from Chad! I had great fun editing and expanding this post and I hope you enjoy it too.

Coral Root: Parasite in the Redwood Forest

Ancient sequoias bear burn scars from a recent fire. The call of birds and the buzzing of insects are muted among the pillars and ferns.

commensalism relationship in redwood forest

An orchid grows inconspicuously in the shadowed underbrush. Leafless, striped white and blood-red, the orchid grows in rows of flower-bearing spikes.

Examples of Commensalism

By pverdonk CC 2. There were around 20 flowers going all the way up the spike. The orchid family, Orchidaceae is enormous, containing 28, species.

What is an example of commensalism in the redwood forest

The species count does not include theor so cultivars that have been bred by humans. California has only 31 native orchids most of them live in the tropics. Using The Power of the Internet I set out to discover the identity of the mystery plant. My first instinct, that it was, in fact, an orchid, was right.

commensalism relationship in redwood forest

Our mystery plant is Corallorhiza striatathe striped coralroot. References They've Got Connections Though the coast redwood is not affected severely by any sort of diseases, recent studies show the pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, or Sudden Oak Deathis now known to have an effect on Sequoia sempervirens, along with more than three dozen other plant species in California.

commensalism relationship in redwood forest

Luckily though, there is still no evidence that mature redwoods are harmed by the pathogen. Phytophthora ramorum is a parasitic water mold that has a wide range of hosts among native California plants.

Symbiosis in the Forest

Even if redwood seedlings and sprouts are affected, the possibility that mature redwoods could show resistance to infection still remains. Even if further research specifies that redwoods are not significantly affected by Sudden Oak Death, the disease still creates a major threat to the ecosystem of the coast redwood. The most vulnerable species, tanoak, is a very common tree in the southern range of the redwood forest that several animals depend on for food and shelter.

The death of these trees could potentially put the forest at risk through loss of food and habitat, and thus could raise the total amount of combustible material in the area, resulting in more severe fires that could kill larger redwoods and Douglas firs. As mentioned in the earlier section, Adaptationsredwoods have no insects that cause serious damage. However, several insects are found living on the redwood. These include a flatheaded twig borer and girdler, two redwood bark beetles, and the sequoia pitch moth.

When growing with other species of trees, redwoods are usually the dominant tree. Although this is true, it is generally mixed with other conifers and broad-leaf trees.

commensalism relationship in redwood forest

Douglas fir can occupy dominant and co-dominant positions along with the redwood, competing with them for height. Common species of trees on the coastal side of the redwoods include grand fir, western hemlock, and Sitka spruce.

The Sitka spruce outcompete the redwoods in these areas because they are able to endure salty conditions. These trees assist the redwoods by shielding them from salt and wind. Other conifers found mixed with the redwoods include Gowen cypress and various species of pine.

They've Got Connections...

The two most common hardwoods in the redwood areas are tanoak and Pacific madrone. The tanoak grows far beneath the towering redwoods, where its seedlings can tolerate shade better than redwoods. In addition, their acorns establish themselves on the forest floor more efficiently than the seeds of most trees. Other hardwoods found with redwood are vine maple, bigleaf maple, red alder, giant chinkapin, Oregon ash, Pacific bayberry, Oregon white oak, cascara buckthorn, willows, and California-laurel.