Algae and Fungi are often confused to be the same but they are both quite different from one another. But first let us start with what are Algae? They are the green slimy blanket the cover most of the rocks or the top of the ponds or a poorly kept aquarium. Fungi on the other hand are a group of simple plants that have no chlorophyll and so are not even green! And even though most algae do have chlorophyll they are not even members of the plant kingdom! Strange isn’t it?
Fungi and algae both prefer to live in moist environments. However Algae need more moisture than fungi and that is why they are found in water bodies. Algae can be unicellular or multi-cellular, but among fungi, only yeast can be unicellular.
There are some types of fungi that live in deserts as well. Some Fungi are so helpful that they cure diseases even though some others can cause infections. Mushroom and yeast are examples of good fungi.
Just like fungi, algae can also be helpful as well as harmful. For example algae which appear like long strands of seaweed and get swayed with the ocean tide are used for fertilizer or food – are helpful. On the other hand the ones that show up as poisonous red tides found near the coast – are really harmful and threaten marine life.
Fungi get their nutrition from dead organic matter. Algae, on the other hand get their nutrition through photosynthesis.
Shall we then say that algae do help our environment by creating oxygen through photosynthesis?