I've read a lot of posts about moons around large gas giants and I think I have fairly good idea about basics to them. I'm not super great with all the science parts myself but they give me lots of greats information reading them.
For this particular one I'm trying more to figure out how an extreme environment could effect the colonists who depend on farming and plant-life for survival.
- Colony has exists for ~2000 years
- Colony has been put together on the moon of a gas giant, that moon has a gravity slightly less than that of Earth (lets assume 80-90%)
- One hemisphere is periodically "cooked" by the long exposure to the star. I'm hoping for a moon that never fully exposes the other hemisphere to the star, but the region that life can live in changes over the course of time. Example for 100-200 years 60%+ of moon has survivable (even if harsh conditions to humans) and then for another 40-100 years, there are times where up to 80% of the moon gets cooked, aka "Sunfall". Time periods are up for debate if something would make more sense, I'm trying to get a feeling of how forest fires act on an ecosystem.
- The planet has formed basic life : bacteria, mosses, plants, fungus, and small insectoid/amphibious type creatures. A lot of these live underground, but the mosses and photosynthesizing plants wax and wane across the moon with the "Sunfall" periods.
- Large cave systems
How would the extremity of this waxing/waning of life on the moon affect the ecosystem, in particular how may plant life evolve and the factors this may have for the colonists that depend on it?
Though, we're obviously basing this on earth life I'd like to try and create a realistic imagery of what type of plant life would be encountered on such a world. With the main pollinators and spreaders of it being insects or weather. Also, unsure how fertility periods may work for these plants, with soil nutrition coming from very very long burn cycle followed by long growing periods.