Answer the following question:
Substantiate with the help of one example that in an ecosystem mutualists
(i) tend to co-evolve and
(ii) are also one of the major causes of biodiversity loss.
Mutualists are pairs of the organism that benefit from the interactions between them.
(i) Mutualism between a flower and its pollinator follows co-evolution as the interaction should be safe from "cheating".
A Fig species is pollinated by a particular species of wasp. While the wasp uses the fruit for oviposition and source of nourishment for its larvae, the fig is pollinated by the wasp.
(ii) Since both the participants in the mutualism are linked, a change, anthropogenic or otherwise, affecting one species will consequently also reduce the population of the other species.
Plant-Pollinator interaction is an example of the same. Extinction of the pollinator will reduce the diversity of plant species which is dependent on it. Reduction in the bees population is posing a threat to the diversity of crops.
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