How Is Fungi Spread?

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Fungi spread by forcibly ejecting spores, making their own wind and allowing natural wind and water to spread their spores. Some spores have hair-like parts that help them disperse more easily in water. Some fungi use insects, such as flies, to help them spread their spores.

For fungi whose habitat is underneath a forest canopy and has little wind, mushrooms are able to create their own wind by letting their moisture evaporate. Evaporation creates cool air, which is denser than warm air and has a tendency to spread out. Research shows that this process can lift spores up to four inches in all directions. Fungi that eject their spores can spread them when animals accidentally bump into their fruiting bodies or when raindrops fall on them.

A part of asexual reproduction, spores germinate and develop into new mycelium, the growing state of fungi, when moisture, temperature and food availability requirements are met under certain conditions. Fungi can grow towards food when they need it. One yeast cell can produce 24 new individuals by budding. Fungi can also reproduce sexually, producing a spore stalk that bursts when it is fully mature. According to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, spores have been found in high elevations ranging from 10,000 to 71,000 feet.