The relation between algae and fungi in a lichen is
a) Symbiosis
b) Parasitism

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Hint Lichens are not a single organism but they are formed due to an association between the algae and the fungi. The algal and fungal association is considered to be mutualistic as both the species are benefitted from the association and neither is harmed.

Complete answer: The association between the fungi and algae found in the lichen is a symbiotic association. In this type of relationship, both the algae and fungi are benefitted from their association with each other so it is a form of a mutualistic relationship. The symbiotic association is the way different organisms living together with each other in the parasitic or in the commensalism association. The species living together may also have a mutualistic relationship among them. In this association of the algae and fungi living as a lichen the algae provides the source of food to the fungi. The algae contain chlorophyll pigment in them which enable them to make their own food by the process of photosynthesis. The food made by them is then provided to the fungi for nutrition. They also provide various vitamins to the fungus. Fungi in return provide protection to the algae by using its filaments. The filaments are also used for gathering moisture and nutrients from the environment and also help in providing an anchor to it.

So, the answer is ‘symbiosis’.

Note: The symbiotic relationship is a broad category in which the organism lives together with another organism. This symbiotic relationship can be divided into parasitism, commensalism and mutualism. The relationship between two species could either be harmful to one or be beneficial to both or have no significant effect on each other.
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