Algae vs Fungi: Difference and Comparison

There exist several plants and animals in our surroundings. There are other living organisms that exist as well that play different roles in the environment. These plants have different applications in our daily lives and many other fields.

The study of these plants is profound, and there are several types of plants that are classified based on their habitat, leaves, lifespan, reproduction method, adaptations etc. The entire kingdom Plantae consists of a variety of plant species.

Two of those are 1. Algae, and 2. Fungi.

Key Takeaways

  1. Algae are photosynthetic aquatic organisms that produce oxygen and are vital food sources within ecosystems.
  2. Fungi are non-photosynthetic organisms that decompose organic matter, crucial in nutrient cycling and decomposition.
  3. Both algae and fungi exhibit diverse forms and structures, with some algae being single-celled and others forming multicellular structures. In contrast, fungi can be unicellular or form complex networks called mycelium.

Algae vs Fungi

The difference between Algae and Fungi is their habitat. Algae are found underwater in both marine water bodies as well as freshwater bodies, on the other hand, fungi thrive and grow on dead substances that are moist and warm. The presence or absence of chlorophyll is another notable difference between algae and fungi.

Algae vs Fungi

Algae is a type of plant species that is under the influence of water, and they are also found in aquatic areas. They are photosynthetic. Algae bear a nucleus. They do not possess a stereotypical plant structure like roots and stems.

There are other types of algae that are classified based on their colour and the type of growth they experience.

Fungi are the types of eukaryotic organisms that thrive and grow on organisms that are dead, moist and warm. They are an entire kingdom similar to kingdoms Plantae, Animalia, and others. The most prominent example of fungi is mushrooms.

Fungi is the plural form of fungus.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonAlgaeFungi
KingdomProtistaThey are the kingdom fungi.
LocationAquatic areasTerrestrial areas like organisms that are dead, moist and warm.
Cell wall compositionCelluloseChitin
CellsThe cells are uninucleated.The cells are multinucleated.
PhotosynthesisAlgae has chlorophyll for photosynthesis.Fungi do not contain any element that performs photosynthesis.

What is Algae?

Algae are one of the plant species that are found in aquatic areas. They are the members of the kingdom Protista. They do not have characteristic features like many other plants have. Some species of these organisms are toxic to aquatic life.

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However, they are also a great part of the environment as they produce oxygen on the planet Earth.

There exist a variety of algae in nature. In the snow regions, there are several areas covered with algae. This type of algae contains special pigments called carotenoid pigments.

Along with the carotenoid pigments, they also contain chlorophyll pigments. Because of the combination of these pigments, they are red.

Algae are either near the water bodies or inside the water bodies. Along with the common green algae, there is some portion of brown algae. To circulate the essential water and food nutrients, no vascular tissues are present in algae.

They perform photosynthesis as many other plants do.

Algae are either unicellular or multicellular, which is one of the unique characteristics of algae. They do not bear leaves, stems or roots like other plants.

Algae reproduce both sexually as well as asexually, however, asexual reproduction in algae takes place by spore formation.


What is Fungi?

Fungi or fungus is a type of eukaryotic organism that thrives and grows on other dead organisms. They also grow in places that have moisture and/ or warmth.

The kingdom fungi is an independent kingdom that is used to study more about plants and their different species.

There are a number of characteristics of fungi. They are heterotrophic and have unique cell walls than many other living organisms. Their cell wall contains chitin. Some fungi have flagellated pores.

They reach out to dissolved molecules for their food and nutrients. They excrete enzymes in the environment.

An independent branch of biology is devoted to studying fungi, known as mycology.

The study of fungi is an independent branch that was first considered a branch under botany, but fungi are closely related to animals and show many genetic similarities with animals.

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Fungi also show similar characteristics to parasites. When these fungi are developed as moulds or mushrooms, they are fruiting, and that is when they show more similar characteristics to parasites.

When various organic materials in the environment are decomposing, fungi play an important role in the cycling and exchange of nutrients.


Main Differences Between Algae and Fungi

  1. Algae is a member of the Kingdom Protista, on the other hand, fungi are a separate kingdom.
  2. Algae are found in aquatic regions or in places that have moisture, on the other hand, fungi are terrestrial organisms that grow on other organisms that are dead, moist or warm.
  3. Some types of algae are prokaryotic organisms, while some are eukaryotic organisms, on the other hand, all types of fungi are eukaryotic organisms.
  4. Photosynthesis is carried out in algae, on the other hand, photosynthesis is not carried out in fungi.
  5. Chlorophyll is present in algae, on the other hand, chlorophyll is not present in fungi.
  6. Algae can not live in darkness, on the other hand, fungi can live in darkness.
  7. The cell wall of algae is made up of cellulose, on the other hand, the cell wall of fungi is made up of chitin.
  8. Algae consist of uninucleated cells, on the other hand, fungi consist of multinucleated cells.
Difference Between Algae and Fungi

Last Updated : 23 June, 2023

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7 thoughts on “Algae vs Fungi: Difference and Comparison”

  1. If they are essential for the environment, they must have some other uses for human beings, I hope to learn more about this.

  2. These characteristics of algae and fungi are very unique and interesting, I wonder what others traits make them essential in nature.

  3. I’d love to know more about the other flora and fauna found in aquatic ecosystems, this article already got me very interested.

  4. I can already think of a few places where the algae and fungi traits could be applied in my research, looking forward to more information on this subject.

  5. It’s a little complicated to see the differences explained this way and consider them completely unrelated, isn’t life fascinating?


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