Suppose an Earth-like world with the following changes:
- Atmosphere: 67% nitrogen, 31% oxygen, 2% other
- Average surface temperature: 16.7° C (62° F)
- Day/night cycle: 20 hours
- Gravity: 0.86 g
This world is inhabited by genetically diverse creatures that are equipped with sugar-laden cells to power seemingly supernatural abilities. In order to support the ever-increasing needs of these creatures throughout their evolution, the native flora has grown to harbor increasing amounts of starch in an attempt to acquire more attention from the sugar-dependent fauna.
Additionally, as the creatures became more genetically diverse, the flora required a means to adapt their own genetics to the variability of their consumers. To this end they developed a symbiotic zombie fungus that can take over one unfortunate species of minute flying creature. Like O. unilateralis, this fungus has the ability to direct the actions of the host until its death. The target species is very similar to Earth's female mosquitoes: the creature feeds on the blood of its victims.
The fungus, however, interprets the consumed blood to extract DNA sequences. It then directs the host to fly to as many plants as it can, usually the generating species of flora, where it then releases spores the plant is capable of retrieving and realigning its DNA to match. This enables the plant to continue to be a producer for individual members of the victim's species. The genetic shift is mostly minor, so it can only expand the plant's ability to feed the native fauna.
Humans arrive at the planet with a desire to colonize it. After witnessing the abilities of the native fauna, they want to settle the planet without completely terraforming it. The zombie fungus defined above will allow the native flora to rapidly adapt to H. sapiens, but there is no such adaptability for the environmental concerns.
- Given the planetary details defined above, what precautions would humans need to take upon first arriving on the planet?
- How long would it take for humans to adapt to the planetary conditions to no longer require those precautions?