Green Algae : Predator or Autotrophs?

Green algae contributes about half of the oxygen to our atmosphere. They are one of the important species for the ecosystem. Green algae is in the oceans in many forms, such as single-cell or multiple-cell. Both single-celled and multiple-celled algae are autotrophs and make their food by performing photosynthesis. Recent studies done on single-cell green algae show that they also feed on bacteria that are found in the oceans.

They can act as a predator and hunt on these bacteria. This research opens a new chapter in the world of biology because it was earlier mentioned that these single-celled algae are autotrophs. Something visibly justified that why they are autotrophic is because they contain chlorophyll like other plants and thus perform photosynthesis. So does single-cell green algae autotrophic or heterotrophic? The answer is both.

They perform both photosynthesis and predation according to their needs. The needs means the environmental needs as this research suggests that when proper conditions for photosynthesis are provided to these single-cell green algae they did not feed themselves on bacteria and stick to photosynthesis to make their food. In contrast, when conditions are suitable for performing photosynthesis were not provided to the single cell green algae, they changed their methods and adopted predation. Hence, reiterating that these single-cell green algae change their animal behaviour when extreme environmental condition occurred for their better survival. Which actually proves Darwin’s theory ‘The survival of the fittest’.

The above research was conducted by ecologist, Eunsoo Kim and her team.