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Questions tagged [ecology]

Ecology is the scientific analysis and study of interactions among organisms and their environment.

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How much does the ecosphere weigh?

So, we've gone off to another star system and decided to build a Dyson bubble--a continuous statite, supported by radiation pressure, surrounding a star--with a surface gravity of 1g to live on. Now, ...
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3answers
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How to develop ecosystem in science based way? [closed]

I want to create artificial ecosystem. I don't want to do it in random way like "We have cats but lets name them kads. They live in forest... of mushrooms. And there is a river. I think it is enough....
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Avian adaptation to microgravity and low gravity environments

I like to hear the sound of birds when I travel amongst my orbital and planetary habitats scattered around the outer system. Most of these settlements are very densely populated - what you might ...
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4answers
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Can a land-based organism get to be at least 100 ft. in length and still be plausible?

Basically, I'm trying to see if a land-based creature roughly between 50-100 ft. long could exist on Earth at the moment and still be scientifically plausible. I know that whales and other creatures ...
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3answers
527 views

Could a new species wipe out the rest of an established ecosystem?

I'm not asking about an exotic species in the modern world we know all too well the havoc that can be caused by the introduction of an alien species into an existing ecosystem. I want to know if a ...
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2answers
172 views

Could the World's Rainshadows Have Spiny Forests?

There is no other way around it--Madagascar is an evolutionary uniquety. 80% of the island's species live nowhere else on Earth. Among this uniqueness is a habitat that seems to come out of science ...
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2answers
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How would you go about seeding oceans of Europa with adapted Earth life?

How do you go about building a working Earth-like ocean ecosystem from scratch in Europa's subsurface ocean? On Earth, abyssopelagic species have evolved to live more than 6km below the surface. ...
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6answers
338 views

Producing oxygen without plants

Obviously, current oxygen levels should last us years, so we are talking about a long-term solution. Also, in this hypothetical scenario, plants have stopped releasing oxygen but haven't stop ...
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1answer
62 views

World with 2 billion people [closed]

How much would fertility rate need to drop for the world to stabilise at 2 billion people in 200 years time? Would the world with this amount of people be vastly more peaceful and prosperous?
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4answers
187 views

Why would smaller be better for anteaters?

In the world of this question, ants and especially termites are the dominant herbivores by mass. There are no large grazing mammals competing with the bugs for the siliceous grasses and thorny trees ...
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4answers
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Can a continental scale creature develop it's own ecosystem? How?

I am designing a monster that is as large as a continent. It flies across the planet very slowly and has basically a snake form. Life cannot exist on the planet's surface so the animals are drawn to ...
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3answers
110 views

What would an industry do with a microbe on Titan? [closed]

The setting would be on Titan in the 2200s. Because the institute preventing intrusions on new worlds that have possible organisms has very little money, they scan Titan on the surface, they don't see ...
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2answers
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A Raptorial Parrot

This scenario is based on the kea, the world's only alpine parrot. Even though it eats plants like other parrots, it also eats meat, and therefore could be New Zealand's answer to the smaller diurnal ...
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4answers
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Wasp hives in a walking corpse. Why would wasps do this?

Just a bit of background: one of my favorite zombie causers is from the Dead Rising video game series. In it, the undead are reanimated by a wasp-like insect that lays eggs in a corpse (I think. It's ...
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4answers
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How to cause a surge in large carnivore diversity, roughly 5-7 million years hence?

I have had an idea for a possible story, where the protagonists are some kind of future, sapient hominid descendants (Not descended from humans; bonobos or gorillas or something). The main premise of ...
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1answer
62 views

Planet-sized creatures floating in breathable system-wide atmosphere

In the future, we created a Dyson Swarm. Each node (which I'd like to call a Gigalga) is an asteroid-sized, biotechnological, space-adapted, sentient plant that speaks the same evolved language as we ...
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3answers
210 views

How would an ecosystem survive pitch-black winters of about 3000 years [closed]

I won't describe in much detail the geology and astronomy of the world I'm creating here, whose unnatural shape and so far unexplained non-Einsteinian large-scale mechanics to maintain it may not be ...
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2answers
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How would coral reefs thrive on this super-earth world?

I have a super-earth world. The surface of the world is shallower due to extra gravity, so shorter mountain ranges and less ocean depths. The world orbits a binary star system at a distance of the ...
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11answers
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Which plant species would be most likely to recover after a decade of no light?

Presume a decade of darkness, after a several months of steadily shortening daylight. Assume that the temperature and weather patterns remain (inexplicably) fairly unchanged. Ten years later, when ...
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2answers
84 views

What Other Types of Broadleaves Would Grow in Subarctic Conditions?

As it turns out, conifers are not the only trees to grow in boreal forests, or taiga. At the southernmost ends, the evergreens are mixed with such deciduous trees as: Birch Alder Willow Poplar Maple ...
5
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1answer
169 views

Slowing or Averting Global Warming With the Help of Elemental Powers: Part 1 (Fire)

Other posts from this thread will be posted here as these are updated: Info Part 1, (Fire) focuses on what the fire elementals can do. There are 200 such beings that exist (and have existed for a ...
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5answers
337 views

What would happen if the minds of predators and prey suddenly swapped? [closed]

Just a silly idea for some sort of potentially major event, but what would happen if say the mind of cat entered the body of a mouse and vice versa, for every animal on Earth? Let's also assume that ...
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5answers
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Can Pinnipeds Fit in a Worm Forest?

In an alternate Earth, coral has been extinct for over 400 million years. In their place were the following: Bivalvia (clams, oysters, mussels) Cirripedia (barnacles) Canalipalpata (bristle-foot or ...
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2answers
76 views

What are some of the global impacts of technologically converting desert biomes into grasslands? [closed]

As per the Koppen climate model, for the purposes of this question deserts are dry, non-polar climates. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_climate At a hypothetical time in near future, the human ...
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2answers
128 views

How threatening is instant human extinction to life on earth? [closed]

All humans magically drop dead this very instant. How badly will this affect other lifeforms on the Earth? Ideas: Will nuclear plants leak radiation since there is no one left to man them? Will ...
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5answers
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What evolved weapons could be used against graphene skin?

Life had been good for a certain class of tetrapods. They evolved two layers graphene in a specialized collagen creating a relatively thin yet seemingly impenetrable hide. All of their natural ...
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1answer
107 views

The World's a Jungle Again. How Many Species Would Crowd the Continents? [closed]

In accommodation to my last question, we are now transferring from meteorology to ecology. Today, tropical rainforests take up only 3% of the world's surface, yet they take up half of the plant and ...
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3answers
240 views

How would life be impacted if nothing left behind a corpse upon death?

Let's say that, since the dawn of time, any time an organism has died, it has dissipated upon death. With no decaying matter to fertilize or produce future plants/animals, would life have adapted? ...
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3answers
360 views

All conditions being ideal (gravity, ecosystem, etc), what are the physical limits of tree growth on earth? [duplicate]

I ask the question, not as a subjective "well, Dale, what do ya reckon?" but as a perfectly factual question about tree growth here on earth provided a finite set of physical (natural, real) ...
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4answers
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How long would it take for an array of introduced alien fauna to form functional ecosystems on a near-future “Dead Earth”?

Imagine that, in the near future, pollution, overpopulation and war leads to a massive extinction where almost all chordates, some invertebrates and many plants are wiped out. Small, resilient plants, ...
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0answers
66 views

How much damage would the industrial extraction of oil do to an uninhabited jungle island? [closed]

Note: I have done considerable research on this topic and have not yet found an answer that fits the specific conditions of my question. Since my question has unique conditions, (for example: The oil ...
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5answers
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Could a Planet's Ecosystem be run by a small variety of animals?

In my world, there's an era when only some 20 visible (big enough to see with the naked eye; all other animal life forms are microscopic) animal types lived on the planet. Mammals such as wolves, ...
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6answers
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Could super-sized and intelligent detrivore aliens exist?

For my story I have an alien species who are detrivore. They are also an intelligent species on par with humans. But many people have pointed out to me that intelligent detrivores don't work, because ...
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8answers
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How would a free floating ecosystem on an ocean world function?

The world in question is an Earth-sized planet with a deep global ocean and core of water-ice. Given the lack of an accessible sea floor to root oneself to, how would a complex free-floating organism ...
1
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1answer
107 views

What are the best predators to spark intelligence in these aliens? [closed]

I want my aliens to have some very interesting adaptations, but with these adaptations comes the question "why do they even need intelligence in the first place?". My solution to this is predators. It ...
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3answers
441 views

What vegetation/biome could I expect in a tropical region at an average temperature of 8-9 degrees Celsius?

So, my climates are extreme due to a 31.1 degree axial tilt. The maps provided show a climate classification system based on prevailing winds and elevation. Based on Reddit user u/shagomir's Planet ...
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2answers
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How could this flora/fauna symbiosis work?

I'm building an alien world for an artistic project. The world circles an m-dwarf star, and so the flora have evolved to photosynthesize longer wavelengths of light than on Earth, primarily in the ...
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1answer
91 views

Flora Ecology on a M-Dwarf Planet with Slow Rotation [closed]

I'm building a world for an artistic project, and I'm struggling a bit with how the photosynthetic organisms would likely be different from Earth's plants. I'm not looking for wild idea generation, ...
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2answers
199 views

A 40km alien saucer is floating 1km above central Africa for a long time. What are the effects on the rainforest below?

Earlier this year, a second alien saucer came to Earth and stopped 1 kilometer above the central African nation of Wakanda. The Wakandans are fine with this and refuse to let anyone investigate or do ...
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1answer
128 views

What keystone species would be necessary to create a sustainable ecosystem on a barren planet? [closed]

In my world humans have found a barren planet that is capable of hosting life. What species do they send down to establish a sustainable ecosystem? Just a few or thousands? How many species of plants ...
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2answers
152 views

How quickly would society be able to transform into utopia if everyone worked together? [closed]

How far into the future would my story have to be set in order for cities to change into an entirely eco-friendly and eco-intertwined utopia? A gas is released in every major city that is able to ...
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3answers
173 views

Making a Rainforest

Say you have a region that is not a rainforest, but you want it to be. What would you need to do to engineer a rainforest? My current best guess for what all you'd need is: relatively constant ...
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3answers
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A pack of velociraptors in a modern ecosystem, that would be pretty horrible, right?

So there's been some industrial espionage committed against T-Rex Forever LLC. The method for how they acquired their T-Rexes has been stolen. Terrible Lizards Inc has acquired a mated pair of ...
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9answers
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A 40km diameter alien saucer is floating 2km above the ocean for a long time. What are the effects on the sea ecosytem below?

Twenty years ago, a 40km diameter alien saucer came to Earth, and stopped 2km above the Atlantic ocean, somewhere near the midpoint between Casablanca, Morroco and Natal, Brazil but over international ...
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4answers
248 views

The soil of mushroom island

If you have ever watched Tintin: Or played Minecraft: Then you may have dreamed, as I have, of an ecosystem dominated by Fungal life. As part of a Hard Sci-Fi RPG I'm running, I'd like one of the ...
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1answer
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How would be an earth-like planet with its axis pointing to its sun-like star? [duplicate]

I have noticed that the planet will have a perpetual day zone, a perpetual night zone, and a ring, in its equator, with different grades of perpetual "twilight". Am I right? If I am, how will be ...
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6answers
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What measures might an ancient civilization take to protect itself from extreme heat?

An ancient human like civilization exists on a planet like our own but warmer, with more deserts and smaller oceans. Climate change is forcing the daytime temperature slowly upwards. What measures ...
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2answers
164 views

Argyria and Dwarven Industrial Runoff

The two stereotypes that I've seen the most about Dwarves are that they live in mountains and mine for precious metals and the like. Recently, I've been thinking of an interesting place to take that. ...
4
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6answers
282 views

Can the Iceworld civilization feed itself?

I have a world which is (nearly) a single-biome planet; it is mostly covered in shallow, ice-choked seas. There are few continents, but many archipelagos. Think northern Canada or Alaska as this ...
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0answers
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How would a nitrogen-based-photosynthetic microorganism affect Earth and its inhabitants? [closed]

Let us assume that mankind genetically-engineered a microorganism which can photosynthesize using the following chemical reaction: 2N2 + 6H2O -> 4NH3 + 3O2. Then, this microorganism is released ...