One of the most remarkable adaptations of fungi for exploitation of the terrestrial environment is their ability to form mutualistic partnerships with plants (mycorrhi-zas) and algae or cyanobacteria (lichens). Symbiotic fungi are provided with carbon by the photosynthetic partners (photobionts), while the fungi may protect the symbiosis from harsh environmental conditions (e.g., desiccation and metal toxicity), increase the absorptive area, and provide increased access to mineral nutrients.
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