Where Do Fungi Live?

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.

Soil fungi are found in ecosystems around the world; wherever there is soil, they will grow. These fungi rely on the dirt and soils in which they grow to provide them with essential vitamins and nutrients. Soil fungi are often found growing proximately to companion plant species. In this case, plant and mushroom form a mutually beneficial relationship where the plant supplies the fungi with food from decomposed organic matter, and the fungi delivers water and nutrients to the plant. Aquatic fungi inhabit saltwater and freshwater bodies of water; depending on area of residence, they have a variety of special characteristics to cope with life in their environments. The spores of these fungi, like those of fungi growing in air, disperse and regenerate when carried by winds.