Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Algae and Fungi

Algae vs Fungi

When anyone is asked about the difference between the algae and fungi, the quick answer is most likely that algae are the green slimy matter that you can observe at the base of your aquarium or at the bottom of your pool when left non-chlorinated. For fungi, these are the mushrooms that you can readily see at the forest or even at your own backyard. Well, this is probably the simplest visual difference between the two.

Foremost, fungi is the plural form for fungus. There are many types of such like molds, yeasts and the most popular ‘“ mushrooms. Fungi are able to decompose organic matter a lot faster. They literally eat up the available nutrients like in the case of an uneaten fruit that’s left in the open at regular temperature. After quite some time, this fruit will become uneatable because molds start to surround and eat it up. They are ‘decomposers’ that brings something back to earth (changing organic into inorganic).

They are described as both symbiotic and parasitic. They try to feed themselves using the carbon from other organisms. Take note, almost anything are structurally based on carbon: humans, plants, insects, and most animals.

There are some fungi that are known to be edible like the Portobello mushrooms, straw mushrooms and the oyster mushrooms. Blue cheese is also a popular food item that is derived from fungi. Despite this, there are still many fungi that are deemed dangerous for ingestion. As such, you are advised not to eat the mushrooms that you just see somewhere else like in the forest and the woods. Often, these mushrooms are poisonous in nature. Nevertheless, although fungi aren’t classified as animals they are without a doubt still not plants. In fact, they are classified into a big group separate from plants and animals ‘“ Kingdom Fungi.

Algae (singular alga) are different because they are plant-like. This means that they also do the process of photosynthesis because they use light energy for nourishment on top of all the minerals they get from the water surrounding them. Thus, they convert the inorganic into an organic material. In addition, algae are said to be the origin of the primitive plant types. They were the biologic ancestors of many of today’s higher plants. Like fungi, some algae (i.e. seaweeds) are edible.

1. Algae are plant-like unlike the fungi.

2. Algae mostly thrive in or underwater whereas fungi grow on land.

3. Algae are non-parasitic in nature unlike fungi.

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  1. Thanks this is really useful and nice and succinct.

  2. Question… I am curious about the green “stuff” growing on moist areas out of the water, such as decks and siding. I’ve heard both fungi/mould AND algae used to describe it. It is never more than a thin film of green. (At least lichen, no matter how thin, has a defined area. Mushrooms, and similar fungi, are three dimensional. The same stuff, in water, would definitely be called algae.) Perfect example: a friend’s mini-bridge over a little stream. While it is made of wood, it is mostly green in colour, with a visible layer of green (?????) covering most surfaces, due to the moist environment and shaded location.

    What is the correct term? Goodness knows I have enough of it growing in various spots around my home and cottage. (One part of my deck is almost lethal, due to the slippery stuff always growing.) The “greening” of concrete pavers is another problem. I tend to call it “mould” but others INSIST it is algae. (When it’s black, we all call it mould. It seems the lovely green colour is what sets it apart.)

    Any thoughts on what that thin, green, terrestrial film should be called?

    • I also have the question about the green stuff on my Asbestis shingles as to whether it is mildew, mold or Algae. It is in patches.

  3. I too would like to know if the green stuff that is on my Asbestos shingles is Algae or Mildew or mold. It is in patches .

  4. This is very useful notes to many people !!!!

  5. Thanks,stopped a debate in it’s tracks ha ha

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