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What is Fragmentation?

Fragmentation is an important mechanism that takes place in multicellular organisms. As the name suggests, it involves splitting organisms into different fragments. It is a form of asexual reproduction. Fragmentation type of reproduction can be defined as splitting of organisms into different fragments, each of these fragments is capable of developing into mature, and fully grown individuals that are identical to their ancestors. It is a process of splitting. Hence, it is also known as splitting. This method of reproduction is seen in many organisms such as filamentous cyanobacteria, lichens many plants, and molds. It is also seen in animals such as sponges, acoel flatworms, sea stars, and some species of annelid worms.

Fragmentation in Diverse Organisms

1. Fragmentation in Fungi: Fragmentation is seen in various types of fungi such as molds, yeasts, mushrooms. They do reproduction by fragmentation utilizing a specific type of structure, known as hyphae. Hyphae can be defined as each of the branching filaments that make up the mycelium of a fungus. It is a branched portion of the parent fungi body and they can easily get rid of it. During the lifecycle of hyphae, they obtain food and other nutrients from the parent fungi body. By doing this, hyphae eventually grow and become mature, and ultimately, they become ready for fertilization. Now, a piece of hyphae breaks off from the parent body and enters into a growth phase as an individual body. Eventually, they also mature and grow hyphae, and this way, the cycle continues.

2. Fragmentation in Plants: Fragmentation in plants is a very common type of vegetative reproduction. Many trees, shrubs, nonwoody perennials, and ferns form clonal colonies by producing rhizomes or stolons to produce new rooted shoots that increase the colony’s diameter. If a rooted shoot becomes detached from the colony, then there has been fragmentation. Several other natural fragmentation mechanisms exist in plants.

3. Fragmentation in Animals

This method reproduces many species of annelids and flatworms.

  1. Coral: Many types of coral colonies can increase in number through natural or artificial fragmentation. Enthusiasts regularly fragment corals within to reef aquarium hobby for a variety of purposes including shape control; selling, trading, or sharing with others; regeneration experiments; and minimizing damage to natural coral reefs. It is possible to fragment both hard and soft corals. Among many others, Acropora, Montipora, Pocillopora, Euphyllia, and Caulastraea have shown to be highly tolerant of fragmentation. Most marine anemones reproduce through fragmentation. Longitudinal fission, where the original anemone splits through the center, forming two anemones of equal size and basal laceration, where small parts of the animal split from the base and form a new anemone.
  2. Echinoderms: The process is usually referred to as fissiparity in echinoderms. Some species can deliberately reproduce through autotomy in this way. Now, asexual reproduction offers several advantages and these advantages. Before using such a process, it is very important to know about both sides of the coin to get the most out of its results. If you need it most in the future, you will be able to use this knowledge.

Disadvantages

  • Hinders Diversity
  • It Poses some Heritage Problems
  • This Can Lead to an Extinction
  • It Carries Problems with Population Control
  • It Leads to Organisms not Being Able to Adapt

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