Fragmentation in multicellular organisms is a form of asexual reproduction in which an organism is split into fragments. Each of these fragments develop into matured, fully grown individuals that are identical to their parents. The splitting may or may not be intentional — it may or may not occur due to man-made or natural damage by the environment or predators.
This kind of organism may develop specific organs or zones that may be shed or easily broken off. If the splitting occurs without the prior preparation of the organism, both fragments must be able to regenerate the complete organism for it to function as reproduction.
Fragmentation, also known as splitting, as a method of reproduction is seen in many organisms such as filamentous cyanobacteriamoldslichensmany plants, and animals such as spongesacoel flatwormssome annelid worms and sea stars. Moulds, yeasts and mushroomsall of which are part of the Fungi kingdomproduce tiny filaments called hyphae. These hyphae obtain food and nutrients from the body of other organisms to grow and fertilize.
Then a piece of hyphae breaks off and grows into a new individual and the cycle continues. Many lichens produce specialized structures that can easily break away and disperse. These structures contain both the hyphae of the mycobiont and the algae phycobiont see soredia and isidia. Larger fragments of the thallus may break away when the lichen dries or due to mechanical disturbances see the section on reproduction in lichens.
Fragmentation is a very common type of vegetative reproduction in plants. Many treesshrubsReproduccion asexual regeneration of cells perennialsand ferns form clonal colonies by producing new rooted shoots by rhizomes or stolonswhich increases the diameter of the colony.
If a rooted shoot becomes detached from the colony, then fragmentation has occurred. There are several other mechanisms of natural fragmentation in plants.
People use fragmentation to artificially propagate many plants via divisionlayeringcuttingsgraftingmicropropagation and storage organssuch as bulbscormstubers and rhizomes.
Animals like sponges Reproduccion asexual regeneration of cells coral colonies naturally fragment and reproduce.
Many species of annelids and flat worms reproduce by this method. When the splitting occurs due to specific developmental changes, the terms architomy, paratomy and budding are used. In architomy the animal splits at a particular point and the two fragments regenerate the missing organs and tissues.
The splitting is not preceded by the development of the tissues to be lost. Prior "Reproduccion asexual regeneration of cells" splitting, the animal may develop furrows at the zone of splitting.
The headless fragment has to regenerate a complete head. In paratomythe split occurs perpendicular to the antero-posterior axis and the split is preceded by the "pregeneration" Reproduccion asexual regeneration of cells the anterior structures in the posterior portion.
The two organisms have their body axis aligned i. Budding can be considered to be similar to paratomy except that the body axes need not be aligned: Convolutriloba retrogemma an acoel flat worm. Many types of coral colonies can increase in number by fragmentation that occurs naturally  or artificially. Within the reef aquarium hobby, enthusiasts regularly fragment corals for a multitude of purposes including shape control; selling to, trading with, or sharing with others; regrowth experiments; and minimizing damage to natural coral reefs.
Both hard and soft corals can be fragmented.
Genera that have shown to be highly tolerant of fragmentation include AcroporaMontiporaPocilloporaEuphylliaand Caulastraea among many others.
There are a variety of methods including longitudinal fissionwhere the original anemone splits across the middle, forming two equal-sized anemones, and basal lacerationin which small parts of the animal split from the base and form a new anemone. In echinodermsthe process is usually known as fissiparity a term also used infrequently for fission in general.
Some "Reproduccion asexual regeneration of cells" can intentionally reproduce in this manner through autotomy. This method is more common during the larval stages.