The spores of most common fungi are so light that the slightest
air current or breath of wind will keep them airborne. They
can travel enormous distances, sometimes thousands of kilometres,
before gravity, rainfall or a downdraft brings them back to
Relying on the wind for dispersal can be a bit hit or miss.
Only a tiny percentage of fungus spores end up in a suitable
growing habitat. Most will perish. This is why fungi that rely
on wind dispersallike the puffballs and bracket fungiproduce
spores in astronomical numbers. Although this may seem wasteful,
you can be sure that these fungi are only producing enough spores
to ensure success.
Some fungi will go to any length to ensure their full complement
of spores is dispersed. The shaggy mane, Coprinus comatus,
even resorts to gradually digesting its own tissues to allow
its innermost spores to escape.