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What are fungi?

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What are fungi? Fungi used to be considered as part of the plant kingdom, but they are now thought to be quite different.The main part of the fungus is a mass of tiny threads called a mycelium. Fungi live on other organic matter. In the soil,fungi are the most important agent in the breakdown of dead plant and animal material, recycling it so that plants can use the nutrients.

Fungi live in damp areas or in water because they have no method of preventing their fragile threads from drying out - they cannot survive dry atmospheres. Some fungi are parasites, attacking animals or plants.

Mushrooms are the reproductive organs of some types of fungi, in which the threads of the mycelium compact together to produce the familiar umbrella-shaped mushroom.

Microscopic spores, which are produced on the underside of the mushroom cap, spread in the wind to start new fungal colonies.

Tags: spores, plant, mushroom

Category: Education  - ( Education Archive)

Date Added: 15 December '11

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