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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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Solar insolation/flux's effect on biome diversity/richness on an alien world

The Questions I'm trying to answer three main questions: Does a three-axis biome chart make sense for my world? How productive/life-rich should a biome be given a specific level of solar flux (...
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3answers
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Why do Ichisongas hate elephants and hippos?

In the mythology of the Lambas people of Zambia, there is a creature called the Ichisonga. It is a herbivore, and very rhinoceros-like in appearance. Upon hearing a hippopotamus, it allegedly sneaks ...
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4answers
644 views

Realistic Alternatives to Dust: What Else Could Feed a Plankton Bloom?

Phytoplankton are not to be taken for granted. Not only do they form the core of marine food webs around the world, they also release half of the world's oxygen. But phytoplankton, being plant-like ...
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1answer
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Could an isolated cutoff valley sustain a diversity of animals alongside humans?

My world has an isolated valley between high mountains like the Himalayas that is practically cut off from the world by high elevation mountains and steep cliffs. The valley is about five miles in ...
6
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1answer
265 views

Eating one whale every three thousand days?

My current ongoing project, about which I've asked many questions, is about a world in which evolutionarily plausible legendary and folkloric creatures roam the Earth. One such creature is the sea ...
4
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1answer
75 views

Can Aspen forests have other species of tree present?

In a world dominated by steppe, the warmest regions give way into parklands dominated by stands of Aspen. My research suggests that Aspen groves may tend to exclude other species of tree, but I am ...
6
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1answer
138 views

What tree type grows into the most dense forests?

"Tree" is (apparently) not a very well defined term as far as scientific classifications are concerned, so I'll put my own restrictions on it for this question: Typical healthy adult specimens must ...
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2answers
274 views

Life in the Northern Hemisphere if Beringia Never Drowned

When one hears the name "Beringia", we most often think the land bridge that formed as a result of a drop in sea levels during the Pleistocene, resulting in a connection between Alaska and Russia. But ...
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3answers
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Can black algae promote a global warming on a cold planet?

My world is at the outer edge of the habitable zone. There is enough heat and geological activity to start life, but a snowball earth is looming and threatens to freeze it all. There is some spring ...
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3answers
220 views

Building a Realistic Food Web

So far, I've begun developing a food web for a swampy biome. Currently, the result of this free building is shown in the mess below (built = orange, aquatic = blue, producer = green, not built yet = ...
4
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1answer
127 views

How quickly would an ecocircle propogate over an unlimited flat world?

Suppose a universe with similar physical laws to ours, with the major exception of gravity not existing as we know it, with an analogous force (hereafter called gravity for simplicity) acting as a ...
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4answers
605 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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4answers
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Hypothetically, should cultural/genetic Homogeneity in Aliens be considered the Exception, or the Rule?

Humans all belong to a Single Species, localized on a single small-ish planet... Yet we are incredibly diverse in both Culture and Individual Appearance/Adaptation to our environment. This also seems ...
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1answer
90 views

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
263 views

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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2answers
117 views

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
195 views

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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2answers
236 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
143 views

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
521 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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4answers
215 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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1answer
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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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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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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
116 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
125 views

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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3answers
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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
182 views

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
80 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 ...
3
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3answers
273 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 ...
5
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5answers
336 views

Faux-natural barriers between environments in a world-sized zoo

Suppose a K-II civilization built a terrarium or zoo, featuring life and ecosystems from different worlds as it travelled through the universe. (By K-II I mean in terms of resources and energy budget ...
6
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2answers
945 views

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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3answers
340 views

What types of lifeforms might this cold world have?

The average temperature on this world surface is −55 degrees Celsius. 80% of the surface of this world is covered by liquid ammonia oceans. This planet has a surface gravity of 0.75 g. 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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3answers
421 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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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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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
381 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
214 views

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
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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
138 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
262 views

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
120 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
251 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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7answers
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A world with no carnivores

I have, what I hope to be, a fairly simple question. I am designing a planet where there are no carnivores. Assumptions The creatures would all be very complacent and would feed and live in very ...
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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
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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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3answers
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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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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 ...