There is an enormous number and variety of
species of fungi.
The mushrooms and toadstools which are usually
seen are the fruiting bodies produced for reproductive purposes. These fruiting
bodies are common especially in woodlands in the Autumn. They are very varied in
Fungi colonize different habitats. In a
woodland most will be found on dead wood or on trees. The degree of dampness
influences the success of the fungus.
Fungi play an essential role in decay. They are
therefore one of the decomposers. By breaking down organic material they make the
nutrients available to growing plants. In this way they are an important part of the
Fungi can not use light to make food as they
lack the green pigment chlorophyll. Thus unlike green plants, fungi can live without
light. The fungus organism itself is made up of threadlike tubes known as hyphae.
These join together to form a mycellium. Mycelia are usually found in the ground or
within dead or living organisms such as wood.
Fungi are eaten by animals, especially slugs.
Thus they form part of the food chain.