Difference Between Algae and Fungi (With Table)

On this planet, there are numerous flora and creatures. Everything is interdependent on one another. As a result, plants and animals are necessary for the food chain to function. Plants are classified into several families within the kingdom Plantae, and each creature has its own set of characteristics, habitat, reproduction method, and lifespan. Animal and plant kingdoms, fungus, Protista, and monera are examples of diverse kingdoms. Every kingdom is divided into families, phyla, and classes.

Algae vs Fungi

The main difference between Algae and Fungi is that, the kingdom to which they belong. Algae belong to the Protista kingdom and Fungi belongs to the Fungi kingdom. On the other hand, both of these organisms are eukaryotes.

Algae’s primary job is to produce oxygen and contribute to ecosystem production. Algae is responsible for the formation of the thallus. Algae is also an autotroph. It has chlorophylls, which are responsible for photosynthesis. Algae is present in water bodies since it is aquatic. In both fresh and saltwater, it can be found. Algae can be found almost wherever on the planet. It aids in the development of aquatic food chains in habitats. Algae produce 70% of the oxygen we breathe.

Fungi are eukaryotic organisms as well. Fungi are heterotrophic organisms. It belongs to the fungi kingdom and it is a territorial organism and hence seen mostly on the dead matter. They have strands of cells that resemble threads. The chitin cell wall is fungi’s most distinctive feature. Some of the fungi are parasites and they can live without sunlight. Normally, fungi feed on dead and degraded substances. The word fungus means sponge. The scientific study of fungi is called mycology.

Comparison Table Between Algae and Fungi

Parameters of ComparisonAlgaeFungi
HabitatFreshwater and saltwater are both home to algae. They can be found in a variety of aquatic environments, including damp stones, soil, and freshwater.Fungi can be found on rotting and dead stuff, as well as in soil. They love to live in dark, wet environments.
Meaning The word algae means seaweed.The word fungus means sponge.
Kingdom Algae comes under the kingdom Protista.Fungi come under the kingdom fungi.
Mode of nutritionAlgae are autotrophic organisms. Self-feeders are another name for them. They prepare food in the presence of light and air. Fungi are heterotrophic organisms. They take up nutrients from the environment by absorbing organic molecules.
ParasiteAlgae are not parasites in nature.In the natural world, fungi are parasitic. They coexist with other creatures in a symbiotic arrangement.

What is Algae?

The kingdom of Protista includes algae. It is mostly found in fresh and marine waters. It is classified as a eukaryotic organism. Cyanobacteria, on the other hand, are prokaryotic. The reserve food material is starch in algae. It plays a significant function in ecosystem productivity since it is a key component of the aquatic food chain. In the ecosystem, it is a primary producer.

Algae are autotrophs because they manufacture food through the photosynthesis process. Algae is responsible for a large percentage of oxygen production. It does so by converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. Algae include red algae, seaweed, and freshwater moss, to name a few. Algae don’t possess roots, stems and leaves like many other plants. Since unicellular algae belong to the Protista kingdom and multicellular algae belongs to the Plantae kingdom, algae are classified as both Plantae and Protista.

Agar-agar, for example, is used as a food. Algae reproduce in three ways: asexually, sexually, and vegetatively. Algae can also be divided into three groups: Chlorophyceae, Phaeophyceae, and Rhodophyceae.

What is Fungi?

Fungi belong to the kingdom fungi. They are heterotrophs and they store food in the form of glycogen and oil. All the fungi are eukaryotes. For sustenance, fungi rely on dead and degraded substances. Fungi’s cell walls are comprised of chitin, making them one-of-a-kind. There is no photosynthesis since there are no chlorophylls.

Fungi have hyphae, which are long thread-like structures. Mycelium is a collection of hyphae. Fungi reproduce in three ways: vegetative, sexual, and asexual. Budding, fragmentation, and fission are all methods of vegetative reproduction in fungi. Asexual reproduction is carried out via spores. Chytridiomycota, Zygomycota, Ascomycota, and Basidiomycota are the most common fungal classifications. Mycology is the scientific study of fungi.

Fungi is a parasitic organism that can survive in the absence of sunlight. Multinucleated cells are also found in fungi. Fungi is the plural form of the word fungus, which means sponge. Mushrooms are the most common example of fungi.

Main Differences Between Algae and Fungi

  1. Algae belong to the kingdom Protista, whereas, Fungi belongs to the kingdom Fungi.
  2. Algae may be found in both fresh and saltwater, while fungi can be found on land and in rotted, dead carcasses.
  3. Algae have chlorophyll and produce food through photosynthesis; fungi, on the other hand, do not have chlorophyll and do not produce food through photosynthesis.
  4. The cell wall of algae is made up of cellulose, meanwhile, the cell of fungi is made up of a unique ingredient called chitin.
  5. Fungi store food in the form of glycogen and oil globules, whereas algae store food in the form of starch.

Conclusion

Algae and fungi play a crucial function in the environment. Algae is extremely beneficial to humans since it creates 70% of the oxygen we breathe. These not only benefit the universe but also demonstrate the diversity and provide sustenance for others. For the food chain, we all know that all organisms are interconnected and dependent.

In the aquatic food chain, algae are the main producer. Both algae and fungi are classified as members of distinct kingdoms. Initially, we believe they are both members of the Plantae family. However, organisms like this have their kingdoms. They differ in terms of habitat, characteristics, and lifespan. Since algae and fungi are mutually dependent, they are referred to as lichens.

Algae come in a variety of colours, including red, green, and brown, due to differing photosynthetic pigments. Although both fungi and algae have eukaryotic cells, there are few similarities between them.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-011-0511-8_12
  2. https://natuurtijdschriften.nl/pub/552239