I have species of bacteria that produce ultraviolet light serving as the basis for an underground ecosystem. What are possible food sources for this bacteria that are growing on the cave ceiling, about a kilometer above the cavern floor?


closed as unclear what you're asking by L.Dutch Dec 25 '18 at 6:28

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  • $\begingroup$ Unless you tell us the mechanism via which these bacteria emit UV light (I suspect it's impossible), we cannot come with an answer. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Dec 25 '18 at 6:29
  • $\begingroup$ That's a lot of light. You'd need at least 10 W / sq. meter to grow anything at all, and close to 50 W / sq. meter in order to approach natural vegetable growth rates. See grow light for the painfully detailed details. Remember that the bacteria are basically replacing the Sun, and the Sun is powered by nuclear fusion. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Dec 25 '18 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ I don't understand why this is on hold. He asked for a viable food source for bacteria in a described ecosystem, what more do you need? $\endgroup$ – SealBoi Dec 25 '18 at 16:36
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    $\begingroup$ Just realized there are two radically different ways to understand this question: 1) "My ecosystem runs on light produced by bio-luminescent bacteria - what's a reasonable food source for that bacteria?" or 2) "My ecosystem's food-chain starts with a bacteria (it is eaten by others etc.), it happens to be bio-luminescent - what's a reasonable food source for that bacteria?". The first interpretation is problematic for a science based answer, since the amount of energy required exceeds anything familiar (to my limited understanding, at least). However the second is quite reasonable IMO. $\endgroup$ – G0BLiN Dec 25 '18 at 16:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Thalassan Probably a good idea. $\endgroup$ – SealBoi Dec 25 '18 at 17:08