How they multiply
Many fungi reproduce by shedding minute spores. These tiny bodies are something like the seeds of a plant, but without the store of food that a seed contains. A single mushroom may shed thousands - in some cases, millions - of spores which are usually dispersed on the wind, by rain or contact with insects and other animals. Other species have evolved more complex methods.
Truffles remain hidden underground but emit an odour which attracts mammals to dig them up and eat them, the spores being liberated in their dung. Truffles are considered a great delicacy; pigs and even dogs have been trained elsewhere in Europe to find them for human consumption.
Stinkhorns, growing erect on the woodland floor, also emit a smell - but of rotting flesh. Attracted by the smell, carrion flies and beetles visit the spore mass. The spores themselves are embedded in mucus which sticks to the bodies of the visitors. As they fly to a new site, the spores dry and fall off and so are widely dispersed.
Some fungi only reproduce by the mycelium, which is hidden within the soil, plant debris or wood, dividing or breaking into two or more parts which are each capable of continuing to grow as separate individuals.