A Source for Free Educational Materials on
Ecology, Conservation, and the Environment

Ant and Acacia Mutualism
Ant and Acacia Mutualism
Page last modified: 8 April, 2005

Welcome to EcoLibrary. Our goal is to help people of all ages, especially teachers and students, learn more about the world in which we live. All of the EcoLibrary materials are available for free download and use, as long as they are used for non-commercial educational purposes. Please do not alter the materials or remove the copyright information when using them.

We are building EcoLibrary in partnership with Discover Life. We recognize that people learn in many different ways and we plan to support different learning styles as we continue to develop materials. EcoLibrary currently contains a database of several hundred images with associated text. In the near future we will add case studies, maps, curriculum ideas, lesson plans, and interactive teaching materials.

Best wishes,

Dan L. Perlman
Founder, EcoLibrary


Using EcoLibrary

To find images in EcoLibrary, do the following.

Look for a topic that interests you, scrolling down the page to find further options.

Click on the check box beside one or more topics that interest you (see below for information on clicking multiple check boxes).

Click the button. if possible

A list of images will appear on the left of your screen. You can then:

  • Click on an individual title to see that slide and its associated text.
  • Click on SEE ALL IMAGES & TEXT to have all the images and their text appear. Then scroll down on the right to see them all.
  • Click on SEE THUMBNAILS to see thumbnails of images. You can click on each thumbnail to view that slide and its associated text. If there are lots of thumbnails, then click on More thumbnails under the first set to see the rest.
Once you have an image you like, [click the download button -- coming soon] to email the image and text to yourself. Alternatively, you can click the image twice to get the full-sized image, which you can save to your computer (Windows users: right-click and save the image; Macintosh users: control-click and save the image). Click the Back button on your browser to see the text; you can then cut and paste the text into a file if you did not email it to yourself.

If the returns too many items, click on to see further categories. You can then select additional search terms to narrow your search (then click ).

To restart the search tool, click Restart in the upper menu bar.

To see a list of all images, click Checklist in the upper menu bar.

To see all of the categories (in alphabetical order), click Restart in the upper menu bar (to clear all check boxes), then click the button, then click the button.

Combining categories:
If you click two or more check boxes within a single category (such as two ecosystem types), your search will return a list of any images that match either category. This is a logical OR in Boolean search terms.
If you click two or more check boxes from different categories (such as one ecosystem type and one ecological interaction), your search will return a list of only those images that match both categories. This is a logical AND in Boolean search terms.


Copyright & terms of use

All of the materials in EcoLibrary are copyrighted. If you would like to use any of the EcoLibrary materials in a product that will be sold, you must contact EcoLibrary in advance for written permission for any commercial use of our materials.

Teachers, students, and non-profit organizations may use EcoLibrary materials without charge, if they do not use them in a commercial product.

    EcoLibrary materials may be freely:
    1) reproduced in handouts and reports or
    2) projected or displayed in educational settings and not-for-profit presentations as long as the materials are not incorporated into products that are for sale and as long as the copyright and identifying information is not altered or removed.
    If your non-profit organization reprints one or more photographs from this library in a publication, you should affix the text of the copyright line as it appears on the image. Please send an electronic copy of any such publications to
Commercial use of EcoLibrary materials in commercial products or products that are for sale:
    If your organization would like to reproduce any of these materials in a form that will be sold, please contact EcoLibrary at to discuss reproduction rights and to receive higher resolution images.
All materials in EcoLibrary are owned by, and the copyright is held by, the person named on the materials. You are licensed to use these materials according to the terms listed above.



EcoLibrary acknowledges the support of the following organizations and individuals with the deepest gratitude. Without their generous help, the library would never have been started and would not have come to fruition.

EcoLibrary gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the following organizations. Their timely and generous support, financial and personal, gave this project the resources to come to life. Thank you for all you have done.

    The Baker Foundation
    An Anonymous Foundation
EcoLibrary is very much of a team effort and required the talents of several individuals and organizations. Thank you for all your contributions to getting this project off the ground.
    John Pickering and Denise Lim of DiscoverLife, whose tremendous work and dedication brought the project from concept to reality.
    Alphonse MacDonald of Island Press, who helped conceive of nearly all of the features of EcoLibrary, and whose unstinting support and wisdom during many false starts made a huge difference.
    Emma Levitt and Rob Jackel, who took vast numbers of rough digital files and worked their magic to turn them into the images presented here.
    Eliza Jewett, whose artistic and literary talents greatly improved the site.
Thank you, all.
Dan L. Perlman

Discover Life | All Living Things | Education | EcoLibrary