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I have an idea for a unique biome called a Terrestrial coral reef.It has a very similar climate to a tropical rainforest, and similar to a rainforest, its rich in biodiversity. but How can I make a Scientifically plausible terrestrial coral reef?

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    $\begingroup$ In what way is the requeste biome different from a tropical rainforest? The question says that it has similar climate and biodiversity, but does not say what is different. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 14:31
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP im no expert but maybe coral $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 14:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Topcode: If by "coral" you mean animals of the class Anthozoa, then nope, those are aquatic. They live in water. If you mean something else sort-of like coral, then that something else should be given in the question. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 14:53
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    $\begingroup$ it sounds like what you're wanting is simply a tropical rainforest with a coral like animal instead of canopy trees. due to coral being filter feeders, it seems unlikely for anything to converge on such a bioplan for a terrestrial lifestyle, unless there're strong enough wind currents to carry food and some sort of species that transfer microscopic young on the wind. $\endgroup$
    – zackit
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding! I think you've got the basis for a good question, but I think it could use some clarification, particularly what it is you expect of these terrestrial coral reefs. In other words, what kind of answer are you looking for other than a "just do it!", rule of cool kind of answer? $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 17:50

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Your big problem is where to organism gets the stuff to make its shell from, coral can extract calcium from the ocean water, which is saturated with the stuff. this does not work in air. corals have on transport mechanism so they cant even pull water and minerals from the soil like how trees do.

The closest you can get is plants that look vaguely like coral.

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I think you need to drop the tropical rainforest climate.

If you have a prairie biome, grass would trap ground particles carried by the wind and grow over it. This would lead to an increase of the height of the soil over the ages.

Grass would then be base for the food chain.

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Yes, but not of calcium carbonate or phosphate.

The lifecycle:

An egg, a tiny fragment of DNA in a nucleus encapsulated in cytoplasm and a case of keratin lined with a lipid membrane is released into the wind. By some miracle of synchronicity - perhaps the moons cycles, perhaps the temperature, perhaps some shared pheromone connection, perhaps all or none of these - a male gamete cloud, like a wet bonfire's steam is released. The "sperm", by virtue of it's opposite electrostatic potential to the egg, finds its pair and begins to burrow through the tough keratin shell.

The fertilized egg settles on a favorable patch of ground, little roots begin to grow, seeking moisture, greedily sucking it and any nutrient it can find. Enzymes are released from the root-hairs, breaking down any organic matter, sucking up the goodness and energy to use for growth.

Adventitious roots encounter the roots of others and fuse to form a food-sharing cooperative. This happens many times, many individuals, working together to ensure their mutual survival, gaining in strength and diversity of available bio-materials, but with a singularity of purpose, to grow and feed, and reproduce.

The halves of the shell part, a strange shoot emerges, fronds, a few at first, feathery and seemingly fragile tossed in the gentle breeze.

A fly, with nothing on its mind but the smell of delicious rotting fruit whines and winds through the high vegetation, suddenly catches a whiff of it's supper, follows the scent trail.

The fronds quiver in the breeze as if in anticipation, the fly settles and moves its mouth-parts over the delicious smelling surface. The trap is sprung, the fly cocooned and drawn down into the heart of our creature to be feasted upon, blissful in its rapture of death.

The insect is divested of all it's parts, some goes to energy for the moment, some to storage and sharing in the root network, some for growth. Layer by layer, a hard keratin shell is secreted around the upper parts, leaving a flexible opening for the trap to be laid again.

The cycle of feeding goes on. This is the time of growth. Time passes, the above ground parts now are grown so that they are in close contact with their brothers and sisters in the colony. They fuse into one great multi-headed organism, increasing the power of their pheromone lure by sheer numbers. Boon time, growth upon growth.

They have achieved a great mass of tough, knobbly, shiny and multicolored being. Other colonies are perhaps inclined to form different shapes, some rod-like, some with stubby branches, some hemi-spherical like half a socker ball, some in a great mat. Not all smell of fruit, some of rotting meat, some of nectar - each plays the tune its own particular prey wants to hear. Some tangle the prey, some put it to a dreamless sleep and dissolve it still alive - there is no practical size limit to the prey - the Chilean plant Puya chilensis is known as the sheep eater. Of course, a rotting corpse of a sheep will attract carrion flies to lay eggs and breed - these offspring may well meet their end in one of our corral-like creatures.

The time for breeding has almost come, cysts begin to grow and swell around the mouths of our creatures, some bigger than others or of a slight variation in design. A dry day, the cysts burst to release great clouds of eggs and sperm cells, the cycle of life begins again elsewhere. Some of the great corral of a different type may wait for the rains to carry eggs and motile sperm to their new homes, some may rely on passing animals to give them a lift to favorable parts. Each to their own strategy.

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