FC: FUNGUS | Andrew Thurman
1: An overview of fungus | Fungi are all eukaryotic and mostly multicellular. They are heterotrophs, which means they acquire their own food. They come in many shapes and sizes and can be found almost anywhere in the world. They are also an incredibly important part of our ecosystem.
3: Functions | Fungi function as many thing, but their main function is that of a decomposer. They absorb the nutrients from non-living organic matter after it dies. They are also parasites. Some species of fungi can live and grow on living hosts and absorb nutrients from them. They can also live and grow on other living organisms but they can have a mutually symbiotic relationship, meaning the fungus absorbs nutrients but it also gives something back to the host that helps them.
5: What are they made of? | Fungi are made up of a tiny filaments called hyphae. These compose the whole body of the mushroom. Under ground the hyphae intertwine to form a sort of mat that is called mycelium. These mycelium mats can be very large, the largest known one being 3.4 miles in diameter. That particular specimen covers 2200 acres of forest, is more than 1900 years old, and weighs hundreds of tons.
7: Fungi origins | Fungi, like animals, evolved from a flagellated ancestor. DNA sequencing research indicates that fungi, animals, and their protistan relatives all form a clade know as the opisthokonts. Fungi are more closely related to nuclearids than to the choanoflagellates and it is believed that multicellularity evolved independently in animals and fungi.
9: Diversity | Like previously said, there are fungi that can live all over the world in many different environment. There are currently more than 100,000 different species of fungi and it is believed that there are possibly another million species that are not known. These fungi are broken into five major phyla. There are the chytridiomycota, the zygomycota, the glomeromycota, the ascomycota, and the basidiomycota.