Why protists are important
Jul 03, · All protists make up a huge part of the food chain. Humans use protists for many other reasons: Many protists are also commonly used in medical research. For example, medicines made from protists are used in treatment of high blood pressure, digestion problems, ulcers, and arthritis. Other protists are used in scientific studies. Protists are very important to the economy throughout the world. Protists are used as a means of growing food such as cheese, bread, beer, wine, and other products that depend on this organism.
Protists are single-celled lifeforms that thee both plant or animal characteristics. They are organisms that straddle the line between plant and animal. Some protists do veer more towards plant than animal and vice-versa.
For example, seaweed is considered a protist and it's very plant-like, while the bacteria living in an animal's gut are more animal-like. Protists do offer some major benefits to other lifeforms on Earth.
Protists are a good food source and have symbiotic relationships with other organisms. Some protists also produce oxygen, and may be used to produce biofuel. Protists are a food source for many animals. Phytoplankton is one of the sole food sources for whales, some of the largest creatures on Earth. Zooplankton are fed on by various sea creatures including shrimp and larval crabs.
Humans even harvest various protists for food. Seaweed is an algae, which is considered a plant-like protist. Many also eat spirulina and prorists flos-aquae in supplements for omega-3 fatty acids and other purported nutrients. Protists serve as the foundation of the food chain. Protists, such as aphanizomenon flos-aquae and spirulina, are types of blue-green algae that also produce oxygen as a by-product of their respiration cycle.
If not for these little cyanobacteria, Earth would not be the oxygen rich planet it is today. Algae, such as seaweed, also serve as mini-ecosystems for other marine life, especially the juvenile and larval forms that need medlcal hide for safety. Blue-green and brown algae is currently being grown for biofuel, which could eventually replace traditional fossil fuels.
Living algae is 50 percent oil, and can be harvested impportance processed into usable oil, diesel and gas fuel. Plus, the algae grows very fast, allowing producers to keep protishs with an ever increasing demand. Modern fossil fuels also originated from the remains of prehistoric animals and brown algae.
Other types of protists offer more direct benefits for animals in the form of symbiotic relationships. Trichonymphs live in the intestines of termites, feeding on the wood cellulose that termites eat and breaking it down into digestible components. These protists live in the digestive tracts of several cellulose eating organisms.
Various protists and bacteria also live in the digestive tracts of ruminants, such as cows, and help them break down the food they eat for nutrients and energy. Is Algae a Decomposer, a Scavenger or a Producer?
What Are Good Protists? Is Grass a Producer or Consumer? Characteristics of Seaweed. How Does Seaweed Conduct Photosynthesis? Structural Characteristics of Blue-Green Algae. Definition of Primary Consumer. What Are the Two Prokaryotic Kingdoms? What Are the Characteristics of the Protista Kingdom? Is Lichen an Autotroph? What Are the Different Types of Kingdoms? What Is how to back up files on windows xp Whale's Diet?
What Is the Role of Producers in an Ecosystem? Trophic Levels of Coral Reefs. What Eats Seagrass? Copyright Leaf Group Ltd.
Aug 10, · Several deadly diseases are caused by protist pathogens, such as malaria (Plasmodium), toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma), and amoebic dysentery (Entamoeba histolytica). They can teach us about the origins of complex multicellular organisms like the plants and alldatingloveen.comted Reading Time: 1 min. Apr 25, · Protists, such as aphanizomenon flos-aquae and spirulina, are types of blue-green algae that also produce oxygen as a by-product of their respiration cycle. If not for these little cyanobacteria, Earth would not be the oxygen rich planet it is today. Blue-green algae provides 80% of the Earth's oxygen. The classification of protists in general has undergone considerable changes. Except for the ciliates and water moulds, the traditional groups are polyphyletic and frequently overlap. Newer systems attempt to provide monophyletic groups based on ultrastructure, chemistry, and genetic features.
Organisms can be divided into prokaryotes — primitive, single-celled life forms with no cell nucleus — and eukaryotes — which have a cell nucleus and include animals and plants.
Protists belong to the eukaryotes, but form an extremely diverse group that includes everything except animals, plants and fungi. Some are single-celled, while others are multicellular, but are distinguished from non-protists by not having organs or different types of tissue.
Although they seem to provide no proven direct benefits to humans, they play a crucial ecological role, and without them, more advanced life forms could not have evolved.
They also have a number of important uses. Most protists are microscopic, but some are just visible to the naked eye, and others can form large colonies and structures. They include protozoa — mobile single-celled organisms — and various types of algae , such as diatoms — tiny, photosynthetic life forms with silica shells — and seaweeds that can grow to feet Algae and diatoms use photosynthesis to manufacture food, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releasing oxygen.
In fact, algae produce about half of the oxygen generated by photosynthesis on the planet. Along with other protists, they form a large part of the marine plankton that is the lowest level of the ocean food chain, and are therefore a crucial part of marine ecology.
On land, soil protozoa help plant growth by consuming bacteria and releasing their nutrients in a form that can be easily absorbed by roots. Sewage and other forms of wastewater can pose a serious threat to human health, and cause great harm to ecosystems, if they are simply allowed to run into rivers or dumped in the ocean. It is therefore sent to treatment plants to remove harmful bacteria, offensive odors and suspended organic matter. Protozoa play an important role in this process by preying on bacteria, and consuming large amounts of organic material, helping to clarify the water and render it safe for disposal.
Many types of seaweed are edible, and are an important food source in some coastal regions. Seaweed is farmed in some countries, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, both for food and because of the useful substances that can be extracted from it. Some of these are used as food additives, for example, as gelling agents, and to improve water-retention. Seaweed is also a good source of the essential element, iodine. It may be that protozoa help control bacterial populations in the human intestine.
There are a great variety of bacteria normally present in the human gut, and most of the time, they are beneficial, helping to break down food, or harmless. However, it is thought that protozoa that prey on these organisms may help to keep their numbers in check, and prevent imbalances between different types. Protists have been the subject of a great deal of research, not only to improve knowledge of the organisms themselves, but also to help understand more general biological processes.
Slime molds, for example, are large colonies of amoeba -like organisms that creep in unison over soil, tree bark, and other damp surfaces, consuming various microorganisms as they go along. They are unusual in that instead of consisting of clearly defined cells, they simply have large numbers of nuclei floating within cellular fluid, rather like one huge cell with many nuclei. At a certain point, this mobile, animal-like, phase comes to an end and the slime mold ceases moving to form structures that release spores.
Biologists study slime molds to learn more about the ways cells behave and differentiate. The remains of diatoms are also useful to scientists. When these organisms die, their tiny silica shells fall to the ocean or lake floor, forming sediments known as diatomaceous earth.
Different species, which can be identified by their shells, have different preferences regarding water temperature, and so, by studying ancient samples of diatomaceous earth, scientists can learn a lot about past climates.
There are a number of other practical uses for diatomaceous earth. It is porous, but the spaces between the particles of which it is made up are very small, making it useful for filtering water, and other liquids. It is used in many filtration systems, and has the advantage of being chemically very inert, and so can be used to filter liquids that would react with filter paper.
Since diatom shell fragments are hard and often sharp-edged, diatomaceous earth can be used as an abrasive in cleaning powders and pastes. It is also added to animal feed to rid livestock of intestinal worms ; the abrasive effect damages worm tissue, eventually killing them. Please enter the following code:.
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