What are symbiotic fungi?
Symbiotic fungi grow on/or with living plants but do not harm them. Instead the fungus and the plant help each other. Some trees from special roots with certain fungi. Together, such a system is known as mycorrhizas, or “fungal rootes”
This special root, with its larger surface area, is able to absorb more water and certain nutrients and provide them to the tree. This allows the tree to survive in poor soil and tolerate drought. In return, the tree provides enough-rich sugars that it manufactures through photosynthesis.
Examples of mycorrhizal fungi include truffles and Cantharellus. Cantharellus is highly prized in Western gourmet cooking and smells of apricots.
Certain fungi live so closely with green or blue-green algae that they combine to form new organisms known as lichens.
The alga makes sugars by photosynthesis and provides these to the fungus. In returns, the fungus contributes minerals, water and protection from sunlight and prevents the alga from drying out.