Algae and fungi form a symbiotic association and are called lichen. In this relationship, algae produce food and fungi provide protection and anchoring of the body. Like all fungi, lichen fungi require carbon as a food source; this is provided by their symbiotic algae and/or cyanobacteria, that are photosynthetic.The lichen symbiosis is thought to be a mutualism, since both the fungi and the photosynthetic partners, called photobionts, benefit.
- Many fungi are involved in symbiotic relationships.
- Some fungi are parasites. They are specialized to penetrate a host and break down the host’s tissues.
- Parasitic fungi often cause illness and may eventually kill their host.