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Have 2 organisms ever been introduced to create a symbiotic relationship that doesn't occur in their natural environment?

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Can you please give your definition of symbiotic relationship? No everybody uses the same definition. Some use it as an equivalent to mutualism. Some uses to describe any kind of relationship and I've heard people using it as "obligate mutualism or commensalism". What kind of barrier to their relationship existed in their natural environment? If you consider a symbiotic relationship to be any relationship and you accept any barrier preventing their interaction in nature, then almost any example of introduced species would answer your question. – Remi.b Jun 13 '14 at 12:49
@Remi.b I've been thinking on this, and it's a good question, but I'm not sure how to answer it. I was just thinking of pairs that don't normally interact in nature, but were introduced (with or without genetic alteration) in an artificial setting to induce a cooperative or symbiotic relationship with benefits that either replicate their symbiotic relationships with other organisms, or else create a new beneficial relationship. – coburne Jun 13 '14 at 14:15
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Here are some examples:

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Do not forget domesticated animals that we now keep as pets. It's not unreasonable to argue that the relationship between dogs/cats and humans has a symbiotic character. The pet gets foodand shelter whereas the owner benefits in other ways, e.g. companionship, deterrence of enemies, herding,...

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I thought of that initially, but the mutual benefit varies wildly when considering abusive/neglectful pet owners, and like my cat for example, she offers nothing in return. She overeats and ensuingly throws up on the regular, stands in my way wherever I'm trying to go, and deters very few enemies...very few indeed. – coburne Jun 13 '14 at 13:42
So if your cat actually offers nothing, why do you still own her? What I want to say by that: the pure presence of a cat often suffices to make their owner more comfortable. If a cat would not have nothing to offer, no one would have one as a pet... Anyway, you would certainly agree that at least dogs perform useful tasks in some cases. – Hav0k Jun 13 '14 at 19:03
well I do enjoy giving her smooches on the whiskers, so I suppose there is some benefit. I'm not sure if that qualifies as a symbiotic relationship, but maybe a re-defining of the word is in order to include the aforementioned smooches. – coburne Jun 13 '14 at 20:00

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