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Biome Spotlight: Spore Forest



Note: While the ecosystem depicted is still cannon to the Isla project, its look is no longer up to date. 

Introducing Isla's newest biome, which I've been hinting at for a while: The Spore Forest (aka the Fungal Jungle).
This biome is created when the strange fungus-like organism B. gracilipes takes root in a canyon. Geographic areas such as these are naturally suited to sustaining high biodiversity, however the growth of gracilipes forms a whole new type of environment unlike any typical canyon zone. Growing approx. 18m apart from one another, individuals of this species form a hardened canopy overhead in an attempt to capture as much light as possible. This structure completely shelters the area below, forming a darkened tunnel capable of sustaining many forms of life, as well as running water. 

B. gracilipes is a strange organism in how groups organize themselves. Each individual synthesizes it's own nutrients as if it were an independent entity, however acts to benefit the whole, sharing nutrients with the entire grove and even killing itself if it would better the colony. This species is not intelligent, however it's exchange of nutrients could be compared to a working economy, using sugars instead of money. Small plate based flora grow within the canopy tissues, growing their photosynthetic organ above, however extending reproductive tendrils below into darkness. This species is capable of swapping nutrients with the fungus, almost as if being taxed for growing within the other organism. 

The internal tissues of gracillipes are packed with sugars, however they also have a defense. When damaged by a potential predator, the tissues release a viscous yellow foam. This substance can get stuck in the mouthparts of smaller herbivorous animals, preventing them from eating and often leading to death. 

On the left, an individual fungal trunk is illustrated with a common parasite of the spore forest: Sornitoculla lateralus. This species is hard to categorize as it shares traits with both fauna as well as chemosynthetic lung plants. The organism simultaneously saps the fungus of sugars, as well as filters the air around it for chemical compounds, aeroplankton, and drifting spores (which are ever-present in this biome). 

Questions and comments are welcome!
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wayoutdan's avatar

So what is wrong with the look of this one? And where are the new spore forests?