macro shot photography of brown mushroom

Mushrooms: What Are They?

Mushrooms are not what many people think they are. Most people believe that the mushroom is a fungus that grows out of the ground. In some way this statement is correct but, the mushroom is just the reproductive organ of the fungus. The actual species of fungus is located underground. They use their long and thin root-like branches to connect with branches of trees and plants nearby. This is why you find a lot of mushrooms near trees and plants. The fungus can be advantageous or dangerous for the organism it uses. Some fungi live unknown to humans in a healthy symbiotic relationship. Some on the other hand can cause trees and plants to die or grow tumorous patches on them.


So, how is the mushroom the reproductive organ of a fungus? The mushroom is almost considered a fruit. It carries the seeds or spores for the offspring of future generations. The gills or the lines underneath the head of the mushroom contain these spores and are usually dropped by mechanical force. Things such as wind and animals can help move these spores to a new location. When the spores find their new home they will begin their own life cycle and eventually create their own mushrooms to reproduce. A singular fungus does not create just one mushroom, however. So, if you see multiple mushrooms in your backyard, it might be the same organism!!

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pensmenger

I am a Biology Major attending Arcadia University. I started the company My Biology Experience in hopes to connect the Biology community on a closer level.

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