Fungi get their food from either dead and decaying organisms or they live off another living organisms nutrients. This can be in the form of parasitism (harming the host), commensalism (not helping or hurting the host), or mutualism (where both the host and the fungi receive a benefit from the partnership). Mutualism is also termed as symbiosis. Fungi do not have chlorophyll to create their own food for survival like plants.
Unlike plants, fungi do cannot make energy from sunlight through photosynthesis. Instead, they absorb nutrients from their environment. Fungi that absorb nutrients from already dead wood, leaves, and other plant material are called saprophytes. These species include the many of the most common mushrooms and other large fungi species. Other fungi live attached to a living plant or animal, and get nutrients through cooperation or competition with their host organism. Fungi that live in or on another organism and that are harmful to their host are classified as parasites. In other cases, the fungi might actually be beneficial to their host, and then the relationship is called a mutualistic one. Finally, fungi may be neither helpful or harmful to the plant or animal host, making it a commensal relationship.
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