Symbiosis is close and often long-term interaction between two different biological species. In 1877 Albert Bernhard Frank used the word symbiosis (which previously had been used to depict people living together in community) to describe the mutualistic relationship in lichens. In 1879, the German mycologist Heinrich Anton de Bary defined it as "the living together of unlike organisms."

The definition of symbiosis has varied among scientists. Some believe symbiosis should only refer to persistent mutualisms, while others believe it should apply to any type of persistent biological interaction (in other words mutualistic, commensalistic, or parasitic). After 130 years of debate, current biology and ecology textbooks now use the latter "de Bary" definition or an even broader definition (where symbiosis means all species interactions), with the restrictive definition no longer used (in other words, symbiosis means mutualism).

  • Wurzelsymbiose - Enge Freundschaft mit Kontrolle

    Die Symbiose mit Mykorrhiza-Pilzen verschafft Pflanzen einen besseren Zugang zu knappen Ressourcen. LMU-Forscher haben nun einen Mechanismus entdeckt, mit dem die Pflanze möglicherweise steuern kann, wie eng die Symbiose ist.