Fungi play a crucial role in the balance of ecosystems. They colonize most habitats on Earth, preferring dark, moist conditions. They can thrive in seemingly hostile environments, such as the tundra, thanks to a most successful symbiosis with photosynthetic organisms, like lichens. Fungi are not obvious in the way that large animals or tall trees are. Yet, like bacteria, they are major decomposers of nature. With their versatile metabolism, fungi break down organic matter that is insoluble and would not be recycled otherwise.
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