Interaction with other organisms:
There are many different types of fungi, and each classification interacts with its community or its surrounding species differently.
Asdescribed in the plant-fungus interaction, some fungi are found to be mutualistic. A mutualistic fungus associates with another organism, usually with some benefits to both partners but always withbenefits to the other organism. In mutualistic associations, the benefits need not be equally shared. For example, the relationship between plants and fungi is mutualistic.
Almost incontrast to these mutualistic fungi, there are also the parasitic fungi. The parasitic fungi obtain its nutrients from another living organism, with no benefit to the other organism. However,some parasitic species do not kill the organisms they feed on.
Saprotrophic fungi, which obtain their nutrients from dead organic matter, such as leaf litter, dung, soil, dead animals,wood, dead fungi, etc. Saprotrophic fungi feed on and recycle about 85% of the carbon from dead organic matter, while bacteria and animals are held responsible for the other 15%. These fungirelease the locked-up nutrients that can then be used by other living organisms, making the fungi vital to the health of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems around the world.
How do they affect humans:
1. Fungi can be used as a food source (i.e. mushrooms and meat substitutes,like Quorn).
2. Fungi are saprophytic, which means they live on dead, decaying matter. Therefore they break down dead organic wastes.
3. Antibiotics can be extracted from fungal sources.(e.g. penicillin)
4. Fungi secrete a lot of very useful enzymes. (e.g. cellulase and protease)
Arantxa Ramírez Bernáldez