Species can interact in various ways and with varying degrees of intimacy. For example, individuals compete with, prey on, or are prey for various associated species and may be involved in more specific interactions with particular species
(i.e., symbiosis). Categories of interactions generally have been distinguished on the basis of the sign of their direct effects (i.e., positive, neutral, or negative effects) on growth or mortality of each species. However, the complexity of indirect effects on interacting pairs of species by other associated species has become widely recognized. Furthermore, interactions often have multiple effects on the species involved, depending on abundance and condition of the partners, requiring consideration of the net effects of the interaction to understand its origin and consequences.
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