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I guess you would describe the relationship between epiphytic orchids and the trees they grow on as one of commensalism. Commensalism means that one organism in a relationship benefits, and the other is unaffected. Epiphytic orchids grow on trees, but use them just for support. They do not obtain energy or nutrients from the trees. Water and nutrients are obtained from the air, and from compost on the trees. There are also terrestrial orchids, which are a different type.
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