Definition - What does Spore mean?

A spore is the reproductive dispersal unit of lower plants such as fungi and ferns, and protozoa. While complex plants produce flowers and seeds, lower plants create a (typically) single-celled spore.

Spores are released by the parent thallus, either inside or outside a reproductive sac called a sporangium. Spores permit these organisms to reproduce, create new colonies, and expand their range.

MaximumYield explains Spore

While complex plants require pollination or an interaction between male and female reproductive systems to reproduce, fungi may reproduce asexually, creating spores without any form of pollination.

Spores can attach themselves to animals or be carried by the wind to spread. Spores are much lighter than the seeds of more complex plants and can easily be carried for hundreds of miles to sprout where conditions are favorable. In the case of the puffball mushroom, the entire mature plant swells, bursts, and releases millions of spores that are capable of producing future generations.

While most spores are harmless, fungi such as black mold can cause health problems when inhaled by humans.

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