Fungi On Dead Tree

Fungus On Tree - Ouachita National Forest here in Arkansas

Fungus On Tree - Ouachita National Forest here in Arkansas

This photo of fungi on a dead tree was taken in the Ouachita National Forest here in Arkansas.

Hiking through the Ouachita National Forest I see all types of tree fungi. I am not up on the different types but I read that without these strange and fascinating life forms, neither we nor the inhabitants of our native forests, would survive for long.

Whereas plants get their energy directly from the sun and atmosphere using photosynthesis, fungi get theirs by digesting living or dead organic matter, as animals do. Fungi obviously have no mouths or stomachs and instead, they work their way through or over their food, absorbing nutrients directly through their cell walls. Nutrients with simple molecules, such as sugars, can be absorbed fairly readily. Larger, more complex molecules, such as proteins, are harder to tackle, and the fungi must then make use of various enzymes (chemicals that help to dissolve and simplify the molecules) so that they are easier to absorb. (Source-Trees For Life)

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