Q:

How do fungi get energy?

A:

Quick Answer

Most fungi get energy by absorbing living or dead organic matter through their hyphal networks. Fungi are capable of absorbing nutrients from many different substrates, including ammonia, ethanol, acetate and nitrate. A few fungi species use the pigment melanin to extract energy from ionizing radiation.

  Know More

Full Answer

Fungi grow on the food on which they subsist. This allows them to absorb plant or animal material through their membranes and hyphae. Fungi are only capable of absorbing simple nutrients that dissolve in water, such as sugar. In order to utilize complex nutrients to create energy, fungi excrete digestive enzymes, which break the complex material down, simplifying it so it can be consumed.

Fungi usually grow on moist, nutrient-rich organic material, such as dead or living plants or animals. The hyphae are the basis of fungi function and are used for many purposes, including converting nutrients into energy. Some fungi species use hyphae to snare prey, and then absorb its fluids.

Some fungi species have symbiotic relationships with plants. The fungi helps the plant to process metals and other complex materials while also providing the plant with valuable nutrients, such as phosphorous. In turn, the plant provides the fungi with the nutrients required to make energy. Other fungi species are hunters, and they use their hyphae to trap tiny creatures, such as nematodes or protozoa.

Learn more about Botany

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How are fungi and plants similar?

    A:

    Plants and fungi are both eukaryotic organisms whose cells are buffered by cellulose walls. Like plants, some fungi can be used as food and medicine, and they are alike in their relative lack of mobility.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do plants get energy?

    A:

    Plants get energy from the sun through a process called photosynthesis. Plants convert light into chemical energy which is stored in the organism as sugars.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is ectomycorrhizal fungi?

    A:

    Ectomycorrhizal fungi refers to group of fungi that form symbiotic relationships with plants. The fungus forms a sheath around the plant's root tip before penetrating the plant's root structure with hyphae. The sheath allows the fungus to extract organic nutrients from the plant. In exchange, ectomycorrhizal fungus provides the plant protection from predators, fights off soil parasites and increases a plant's ability to draw water and minerals from the soil.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do fungi live?

    A:

    Fungi live in the soil, on forest floors, in water and even in plants, animals and the air. Fungi grow in virtually every area of the planet — they occupy tropical biomes as well as temperate zones. Fungi have different adaptations to suit the climates and conditions in which they live: some are more porous and suited for life in the rainforest and in marshy areas, while others have hard outer coverings, much like coral, which enables them to live on ocean floors.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore