Q:

What is the economic importance of an amoeba?

A:

Quick Answer

The economic importance of an amoeba is found medically and in nutrient recycling. Various amoeba species sometimes cause illness and death, but others are critical in maintaining healthy ecosystems because they recycle the nutrients used by bacteria and keep the bacteria population in check, says Biology Reference.

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Full Answer

Most of the economic impact of amoebas is secondary, the most obvious being that a few species make humans ill. Many people at some point encounter amoebic dysentery caused by Entamoeba histolytica, reports the Tree of Life Web Project. Rarer cases of amoebic illness are caused by Naegleria fowleri, the organism responsible for amoebic meningitis.

The presence of either of these species in bodies of water causes site closures, negatively effecting commerce from recreation and tourism. Both of these species have the potential to cost quite a bit of money to treat when spread among the public. Amoebic dysentery has a particularly profound economic effect when widespread by rendering large portions of the workforce too ill to be productive.

The economic benefits are harder to measure but every bit as relevant. Amoebas are predators of the microscopic world, keeping the populations of bacteria in check. They are necessary to a healthy ecosystem and for preserving the food chain, and removing them is likely to cause large-scale, cascading economic hardship by harming both, says the Tree of Life Web Project.

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Related Questions

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    What is the scientific name for amoeba?

    A:

    The scientific name for amoeba is Acanthamoeba polyphaga. An amoeba is a single-cell organism that is classified as a protist, which is a diverse group of microorganisms.

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  • Q:

    What are the characteristics of an amoeba?

    A:

    Amoeba are unicellular eukaryotes with no cell wall. They reproduce using binary fission and move by the use of pseudopodia. Pseudopodia are false feet that extend out, and then the rest of the body follows. Amoeba are found in ponds, rivers and on the surface of leaves and plants.

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    What is the function of amoeba?

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    An amoeba functions as a part of the food web as a consumer and scavenger. This organism feeds on dead matter as well as other small organisms such as algae and protozoans. The amoeba in turn provides food for water fleas and mussels.

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    How does an amoeba get rid of waste?

    A:

    Amoebas excrete particles of waste from anywhere on their surface, and most rid themselves of excess water by active pumping from an organelle known as the contractile vacuole. Amoebas have no mouth or anus, and they can also take in food particles anywhere on their cellular membranes.

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