Mycelial growth habit and nutrition

Fungi are not particular good at taking up nutrients compared to bacteria. On the other hand the mycelial growth habit have the following advantages:

  • The fungus can often use different types of nutrients present at different locations simultaneously. There could be a large amount of carbon available in one location and a lack of for example nitrogen for good growth at this location. If this nitrogen can be imported from another location good growth can take place.
  • The fungal hyphae can penetrate into structures made up of polymers. Fungi have also very high capacities to produce extracellular enzymes to break down and use polymers.
  • Fungi can withdraw cytoplasm and resources from an unfriendly area and then "move" to another area. Some fungi can thus "reach" over inert areas including air gaps in cm sizes.
  • Fungi can concentrate resources in an area that needs extra resources. Sometimes there is ample supply of nutrients in an area. The problem can be that the resources are inside another organism or in an area already occupied by other organisms. Many fungi can then concentrate their resources in this area producing enzymes and toxic compounds to kill or inhibit the other organisms in order to get hold of the resources.

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