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Microbes: Fungi and Algae

Microbes: Fungi and Algae

Description:
This lesson explains the existence and importance fungi and algae.
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Tutorial

Fungi and Algae

 

Fungi

 

Fungi is a kingdom that belongs to the domain Eukarya. This means that they are eukaryotes and have a nucleus. Some fungi are made up of many cells (multicellular) and some are made of only one cell (unicellular). Fungi get their nutrients by absorbing materials around them. This makes them heterotrophs because they cannot make their own food by means of photosynthesis. Fungi are generally found in warm, moist places. Most fungi have very similar structures. They have a structure called hyphae, which are branching tubes that will make up the body of the fungus. Although most fungi have the same structure of hyphae they can look very different depending on how the hyphae is arranged. Mushrooms and molds are examples of fungi.

 

Fungi play a very important role in nature as decomposers. They help to break down dead organisms and materials and recycle it back into the soil. In addition some forms of fungi are food for humans and other animals and some are used for medicinal purposes.

 

 

Algae

 

Algae belong to the kingdom Protozoa and are considered protists. This means that they are eukaryotes and mostly unicellular. Some protists are more similar to plants and some more similar to animals. Algae is referred to as a plantlike protist. Algae are autotrophs like plants. This means they can perform photosynthesis to create energy for themselves. Algae play an important role in nature. Many types of algae live in lakes or ponds and therefore are an important part of the food web and provide food for many types of fish.  Also, because algae perform photosynthesis it means they release oxygen, which is a necessary gas for animals to breathe. Algae can vary greatly and there are several varities of algae such as green algae, brown algae, red algae and diatoms to name a few.