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Regarding the tree in this question, what kind of life forms would be possible if this tree were the only solid structure above water on this 50% of earths gravity, water planet? No land, just a continental sized tree, with vertical branches, reaching a height of five hundred feet. The 'ground' is floating on top of ocean, and is the trunk of the Bladetree, winding to and fro along its own body, Averages of width is five hundred yards, and the height of horizontal trunk, which is its thickness, is at minimum one hundred feet. The roots feed like coral, except for the mineralized ocean water.

Remember also that the rooted and rootlets, all are very large, so the surface area, of just the root system, is astronomical.

The root system, is much like that of the Seaweeds, of Earth.

At high noon, (same cycle of that of Earth, concerning the tilt, and rotation, and travel around the sun.) the huge areas between the spiraled rings are at minamum, about 300 yrds wide, so the surface areas exposed to sun are relatively balanced, compared with areas, not recieving sun at all, so it looks like the enviroment, will support, life forms of both kind. That is to say, that it will support sun energized life forms, and the chemical, and or minerals energized life forms.

Much like the Banyon, is the root system growth, to anchor the whole structure, but yet, the roots are very elastic, and will stretch, thus is the part of system, in which fish and other organics, are used in the Bladetrees, diet, that is to say through the roots.

This species, has many properties of Algae. Remember, low gravity, and same distance, and size of Earth's sun, is this planet's sun.

Let me give the planet a name of Nibaru, after the mysterious planet X, that science and goverments are trying to keep a secret. (my opinion)

Yes there is a special catch here.... God has created everything, so it is unique, and will have an important role, in this enviroment. The aquatic, and or Atlantean, like people, ( having webed feet, and hands, and gills, and lungs to breath air. Maintainers, managers of Bladetree, to keep it strong, and healthy.

this tree would be mostly above water, but at the horizontal spiral, is the main stemroot, traveling down, and anchoring at the Oceans bottom, also, the outer ending of the spiraled trunk, is also rooted, but this root, grows, and dies, as the outer end continues to grow. All along the trunk, which again is on average width, five hundred yards, are covered in decaying branches, leaves, and other types of vegetation, so in essence, this continentally sized tree, supports life, much the same way, the earths outer crust does. There not only is life going on above, but also the underneath. There are places completly darkened by the floating trunk above.

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closed as too broad by Brythan, JDługosz, Mołot, Azuaron, Aify Nov 16 '16 at 6:08

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ I would think that if a plant is the only thing that can support life, life would never have started, as plants are a form of life. Additionally, is there no sea life? Just what lives on this plant? If you have an ecosystem, it will be very limited. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Nov 15 '16 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ That is not exactly a realistic answer. Note size, plus the food of this continental sized tree would be minerals gleaned from water , including proteins from the fish it traps in its roots. Corals for example could easily grow on the undersides of trunk. $\endgroup$ – Conrad R. SnyderII Nov 15 '16 at 21:19
  • $\begingroup$ most coral could not grow on the underside, most coral requires sunlight for their symbiotes to preform photosynthesis. the coral without symbiotes are rather fragile for surface water. sponges might be a better model. $\endgroup$ – John Nov 15 '16 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ As @Frostfyre pointed out, there must be things in the environment (abiotic factors) to support the tree, which open up the opportunity for fish, etc. $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Nov 16 '16 at 4:41
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    $\begingroup$ There could be any number of possible answers to this question, even in the revised form. Life is very diverse, predicting everything that is possible would not only require several books but be impossible. If you were asking about a specific creature you had in mind, that might work better. $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Nov 17 '16 at 13:14
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TL;DR the tree provides a ton of stuff that just an ocean doesn't, so expect it to be a hub of biodiversity.

1) Expect aquatic plants and animals everywhere, with some -very- large species

enter image description here Many theories state that abiogenesis (life first starting from a mix of chemicals, minerals etc) occurred in the ocean, so it's reasonable to say that life could still develop in the ocean independent of the tree.
Expect some things like fish, plankton, etc - anything possible in our oceans. Perhaps these creatures can grow larger if the water is mineral-rich, as you said. - If a tree can get this large, there might be Cthulus and Krakens and all sorts of monstrosities supported by your ecosystem.
Additionally, if nutrients can support one continent tree, why can't they support a host of other massive, floating plants?

2) Below the tree, decomposers everywhere

enter image description here

If this tree is continent sized, there will be an extremely large dark area beneath it - that will stay dark for a very, very long time. It's possible that some species similar to the ones we see at the bottom of the ocean will develop here, but instead of feeding on energy from thermal vents, they will consume decaying tree matter. This will power its own ecosystem relying on dead tree matter, fish that feed on decomposers, etc.

3) "Land" animals abundant

enter image description here
Image is an artist's interpretation of an alien animal and may not reflect what is present on the tree
Just as life moved from the oceans to land on Earth, so too will some species transition to live on and in the tree. It must have began as an environment without predators, with plant life to eat as far as the eye could see; this would fuel evolution on land just like it has on Earth.

4) Burrowers abundant

enter image description here
If the tree is as thick as you describe, some of the inside may eventually decompose into soil. Some land animals may take advantage of the protection offered inside the tree, as well as the nutrients - expect things similar to worms, burrowing mice, etc.

5) A strong ecosystem is now possible

The problem with basing an ecosystem just off of the tree is that everything else will have the same nutrients to work with. For example, what if the tree doesn't take in the minerals required for strong bones, because it has other structures instead? Animals feeding off of it will not have the nutrients required for strong bones! This applies to almost all continental creatures - if they feed off of the tree, they will be severely limited nutrientwise, and will develop to be relatively weak.

Burrowers solve this problem. If they dig to the bottom of the tree and feed on decomposers, they bring a whole different set of nutrients into the cycle - and in turn, if carnivores feed on burrowers, a healthy ecosystem can be maintained.

Coastal areas will probably be the most diverse, as any animals can fish for food.

6) Diverse climate-adapted organisms are possible

enter image description here
If the tree is continent sized, areas may be at significantly different latitudes - meaning some parts of the tree are hotter, some are colder, etc. This could produce conditions for species to adapt to - as long as the tree can survive, too - and lead to some variation.

7) More bladetrees (?)

One of the most important requirements for a living thing is that it reproduces. Only one tree won't work because unless it makes more of itself, it will go extinct upon death. A possible solution is that this is not "just one tree", but instead "all one tree". Let me explain.

Pando, one of the largest organisms in the world, happens to be a giant meshy tree! How convenient. It is not "one individual tree", but instead a network of the same tree, reproduced through new stems asexually. This applies to the bladetree. Technically, may or may not be "one tree" - it may have consistent genetic material, so it appears to be "one" but there may be multiple copies of the same thing woven together. If a part of the tree breaks off and attempts to sprout, making a second Bladetree, it can be consumed by fish.

8) Tree viruses and bacteria

enter image description here

Just as trees on Earth can be infected by viruses, bacteria and other small pests, so can the Bladetree. Large sections of it may decay due to this and fall off of the actual tree, recycling minerals into the ocean.

9) Birds

Are completely possible. They may evolve practically as they did on Earth, but they will stay within the boundaries of the continent for the most part

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  • $\begingroup$ Zxyrra, Thank you, thank you, thank you. Finally someone who has done their homework. I see now where I need to clarify some aspects of the Bladetree. $\endgroup$ – Conrad R. SnyderII Nov 16 '16 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ @ConradR.SnyderII No problem, glad to help. $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Nov 17 '16 at 2:50
  • $\begingroup$ Nice answer. Zxyrra, you've done a good job pulling together the strands of ecology, biology, and evolutionary history to devise a plausible model for a continent sized tree biome. The illustrations are just so cool. Plus one. $\endgroup$ – a4android Nov 17 '16 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android Thanks! Let me know if there's anything I should add $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Nov 17 '16 at 12:53

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