Any organism in the Kingdom Mychota. These organisms
are incapable of photosynthesis, so they derive all their food from
either dead or living plants and animals (i.e., they are saprophytes).
Some fungal species are parasitic. Most are essential detritivores for
the freestone rivers, and in terrestrial ecosystems, the rain forests.
Many aquatic fungi or water molds (hyphomycetes) participate in the
breakdown of leaf and other plant materials. They are essential, along
with bacteria, for making the decaying vegetation palatable for the
macro invertebrate shredder species.