Algae in lakes reveal the secrets of the evolution of complex life on Earth
A research team from the University of Lund in Sweden has identified environmental conditions conducive to multicellularity by studying green algae in Swedish lakes, providing new insight into life's evolutionary pathways. The findings challenge the belief that multicellularity evolves through inherent advantages, such as defense against predators. In turn, multicellularity emerges as a by-product of single-celled organisms' strategy to reduce environmental stress.
The study highlights that living in multicellular groups brings no benefits or costs, and the results contribute to our understanding of the origin of biodiversity and how green algae, a key group of species reproduce and survive in various environmental conditions.
The evolution of multicellular life has played a key role in shaping biological diversity. However, until now, we have known surprisingly little about the natural environmental conditions that contribute to the formation of multicellular groups.