You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

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You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Zor » 2017-02-21 04:12pm

In this scenario, we'll talk about a hypothetical planet similar to earth in most respects but with some major differences where you and some 50,000 other humans will call home now that their ship has completed it's 200 year long voyage to a new world, expended it's antimatter reaction mass and will unload it's passengers (who were equipped for colonizing an earthlike planet) to settle it. The planet is called Forest World. While Forest World does have a few (very active) volcanic mountain ranges and about 40% of it's surface is covered with forests of the clade Magnaarboride: Megatrees.

Megatrees are HUGE. The average fully grown Megatree is between 1 to 2 kilometers tall (arctic Megatrees are a smaller than temperate and tropical Megatrees) and has a canopy that can extent up to 5 kilometers from the main trunk. Megatree wood has complex mollecular structures which includes (among other things) carbon nanonfibers in it which allow them to support their weight. Megatrees have specialized leaves and holes which collect water in their canopies as well as small "hearts" to aide in the flow of sap. They also have pods just under their trunk which are full of a chemical which is really good at quenching fire and burst if the tree burns. On some of their larger branches of an adult megatree grow plants on a scale that we'd consider full sized trees, as well as vines which connect one canopy to another. There are a wide variety of arboreal creatures which live in the canopies including flying animals, gliding animals and creatures as big as cows. This includes a genus of 30-50 kg six armed predatory primate analogues which look like a cross between a velociraptor, a lemur and a baboon which are about as intelligent as homo erectus and have mastered the use of spears, axes, clubs, slings, a limited use of fire and are quite aggressive. They also are hermaphroditic, have liters of 2-6 pups a year and said pups grow to adulthood in 4 years. Humans can eat most of the plant and Animal life on Forest World and the reverse applies as well.

Megatrees have seeds the size of filing cabinets that drop down periodically. Most of the forest "floor" on Forest World is shallow (50-200 meter deep) sea. On this sea they float around until they find an area where there is a fair bit of sunlight, they set down an anchor root and begin to grow into a new megatree. They can live up to 40,000 years and take about 300 years to to reach full height. fallen megatrees can regenerate. The seas are home to a wide variety of aquatic life including but not limited to fishoids (including an order of some particularity aggressive predators which can get up to 15 meters long), Squidoids, herds of hexipedal creatures similar in shape and niche to hadrosaurs, huge salamander things up to 40 meters long, critters like manatees, things like seals and so forth. The Megatrees actively sculpt the landscape to be like this.

You are in charge of the colonization mission to Forest World. You got 50,000 people to unload, several shuttles to unload them with, some supplies as well as a number of Industrial Fabricators which can print out a wide variety of supplies, but need a supply of oxygen to properly function. What do you do?

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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-21 04:57pm

Just to be clear, you're picturing the megatrees as having branches five kilometers long based off trunks 1-2 kilometers high. Do I hear that correctly?

The first priority is to find a landing zone that is not overgrown by megatrees. We may later decide to build in the branches of the megatrees or to clear megatree forests to make room for development, but right now we need to get boots on the ground and start building an initial base.

It sounds like most of the options for that are going to be pretty inhospitable places (the arctic, deserts, or mountaintops above the treelines). However, with a whole planet to investigate there should be SOME options (a Machu Picchu-esque mountain region, for instance). Ideally we want to pick a spot far from any active volcanoes. But we may have to accept building in earthquake country, which is manageable as long as you know you're doing it and build structures that can withstand a quake.

What is the breakdown on the planetary surface, by percentage, of the following biomes:
1) Deep ocean (i.e. too deep for megatrees to take root)
2) Shallow ocean (where megatrees take root and create this ecosystem you describe, reminiscent of a mangrove forest)
3) Forested continental landmasses (where there are presumably other species of megatrees, better adapted to life on land)
4) Non-forested continental landmasses (self-explanatory).
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Zor » 2017-02-21 07:07pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Just to be clear, you're picturing the megatrees as having branches five kilometers long based off trunks 1-2 kilometers high. Do I hear that correctly?

Yep, though that's the maximum. Two to three kilometers is the norm and polar ones usually max out at two.

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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby FedRebel » 2017-02-21 07:14pm

Are there any..."industrial" explosives at hand?

Find a clearing in what ariable plains may exist near a freshwater source, if none available..make one. Preference is a clearing large enough that potential native threats can be identified and engaged before endangering colonists, as well as provide suitable real estate for crops.

Temperate zone is highly preferred, need a manageable cold winter to alleviate potential disease outbreaks.

I would imagine that at some point the native primate and the colonists would come to war. The colony will go to whatever lengths to delay that inevitability. Suffice it to say the colony's security detachment will have a measure of priority and a conscription protocol at the minimum studied.

I'm taking this as Ultra-Hard Sci/Fi, verbal communication is out of the question. Best case (depending on MonkeyRaptor's digits) is sign language for inter-species dialogue. This will not be easy at all, given that the description indicates a carnivorous primate. Our Earth based success is with Herbivorous and vegetarian primary omnivores.

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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Broomstick » 2017-02-21 07:23pm

Given that we settlers presumably have slightly more than modern tech, one strategy would be to not actually land in the Megatree territory but adjacent to it - scrub/dessert, for example, or mountain (like the Machu Picchu example). Such habitations are ones humans have successfully colonized before, megatrees not so much. Then try to enlist the H. erectus level natives as allies and/or trade partners. 50,000 humans is a very small number for an entire world, we'll need all the help we can get. Deadly conflict between humans and natives may be inevitable but if so we want to build our numbers up first.

I'd also insist on multiple settlements, not just one. 5 separated settlements of 10,000 each, or 10 of 5,000, or some sort of variation, with plans to start new ones once there is sufficient surplus population. (Secondary settlements may be started with fewer people than the first ones.) This guards against the colony being wiped out by illness, accident, or whatever.
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2017-02-21 08:14pm

Presuming gravity is slightly-lesser...

Sea-planes or drop pods that deploy floaty-structures... zeppelin-catamaran-helicarrier bases! Heck with enough precision one might be able to use VTOL-capable SSTOcraft to land ON the trees themselves! If necessary, clear patches of forests... but SSTO-ekranoplan SPRUCE MOOSES and dirigible-catamaran-helicarriers and actual SSTO-VTOLs on the trees themselves would be my favorites. Give everyone ornithopter-pods/suits!

And/or bio-engineer enormous hexa-gorilla suits... part meatsuit part gorilla-shaped giant guyver power armor. Either with ornithopter-fairy wings, Spiderman web-slinging swinging or GOBLIN GLIDER VTOL-boards.

And GOBLIN GLIDERS and either entirely-mechanical or biomechanical wearable DR. OCTOPUS ARMS! For everyone! And nano-biotechno web-slinging!

And optional BALLOON PODS!

Giant pod-homes that have mechanical spider legs in case relocation is needed! So you've got these tree-swinging, possibly-also-VTOL/ornithopteric Howl's Moving Castles surveying the jungles!

We'll use tree-sap-derived non-Newtonian impact-absorbing SLIME for safety measures. Flubber to deal with crashes, even pools of them for the VTOL landing sites! :D

The hulls of all these things will be coated in PHOTO-NANO/BIOLUMINESCENT films that can be set to make iridescent brainscrambling cognomemetically optimized displays to repel local wildlife. Complemented with infra/ultrasonic repulsion.

Mini-pellet/flechette-shooting, nano-optimized-explosives/toxin needlers for lethal defenses. And microlasers.

Super-CRISRP systems to rapidly GMO the local flora and fauna for domestication. We'll RIDE those space reptilio-lemurs!

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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Zor » 2017-02-21 08:18pm

Simon_Jester wrote:1) Deep ocean (i.e. too deep for megatrees to take root)

40%
2) Shallow ocean (where megatrees take root and create this ecosystem you describe, reminiscent of a mangrove forest)

40%, as mentioned the Megatrees actively shape the land to be optimal for them.
3) Forested continental landmasses (where there are presumably other species of megatrees, better adapted to life on land)

15%
4) Non-forested continental landmasses (self-explanatory).

5%, Most of which is Volcanic.

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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2017-02-21 08:20pm

Volcanic could mean anything from active Hawaii constantly outpouring to once-a-century kinda deals that turn into idyllic Dante's Peaks that'll leave everyone alone until eventually Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Connor realize shit'sa bout to get real.
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-21 08:28pm

Yo, Shroomy. Still alive!

I think having all kinds of marvelous vehicles for traveling through the megaforests is indeed desirable at some later time. Right at the start, though, it's probably easier to just build your starting town(s) in the places the megaforests aren't. :D

Zor wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Just to be clear, you're picturing the megatrees as having branches five kilometers long based off trunks 1-2 kilometers high. Do I hear that correctly?

Yep, though that's the maximum. Two to three kilometers is the norm and polar ones usually max out at two.

Zor
Whatever the wood is made of, it's going to make a hellastrong construction material. 3000-meter long cantilever beams unsupported except at one end are, like, impossible. Wow.

FedRebel wrote:Are there any..."industrial" explosives at hand?

Find a clearing in what ariable plains may exist near a freshwater source, if none available..make one. Preference is a clearing large enough that potential native threats can be identified and engaged before endangering colonists, as well as provide suitable real estate for crops.
In the short term we may have to settle for hydroponics, greenhouses, and so on to cultivate crops. Large scale dirt farming would probably have to wait until we had detailed knowledge of the planet's soil chemistry and nutrient availability anyway.

This is probably for the best because we want our initial settlements to NOT be located in the megaforest areas. At the same time, though, the megaforest appears to have grown to cover just about every fertile region on the planet, including the continental shelves. There almost have to be scrublands, savannahs, and the like where there just isn't enough water (or other nutrients) to support megatrees, but by the same token those areas probably aren't well suited for dirt farming.

...

Like Broomstick, I would like to start by not assuming a footing of hostility with the natives. We have such an advantage over them in terms of weapons technology that we can afford to be patient with them.

Broomstick wrote:I'd also insist on multiple settlements, not just one. 5 separated settlements of 10,000 each, or 10 of 5,000, or some sort of variation, with plans to start new ones once there is sufficient surplus population. (Secondary settlements may be started with fewer people than the first ones.) This guards against the colony being wiped out by illness, accident, or whatever.
On the other hand, I'd want the settlements to be close enough together to permit mutual support with the vehicles available. If we have hypersonic flying cars it's all very well to put our initial settlements several thousand kilometers apart. But if we're restricted to ground vehicles or aircraft with performance on the same general level as a helicopter, we don't want our population spread out over distances of more than a few hundred kilometers. Otherwise, transportation costs start eating up resources and labor that are better used for other purposes.

Zor wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:1) Deep ocean (i.e. too deep for megatrees to take root)

40%
2) Shallow ocean (where megatrees take root and create this ecosystem you describe, reminiscent of a mangrove forest)

40%, as mentioned the Megatrees actively shape the land to be optimal for them.
Exactly how does that work? Do they somehow tear down entire continental landmasses and lower them into the sea? Do they raise the deep sea beds up? Do they have power to manipulate plate tectonics and control its direction?

When you say that the megatrees actively shape the land, do you mean that they're self-aware creatures with magical geography control powers?

Because seriously, you're talking about a planet where an area greater than the entire land area of the Earth is covered in shallow seawater. And where the total land area rising up out of the ocean is still nearly as large as the total above-sea-level land area of the Earth. And where roughly 55-60% of the planet is all at roughly similar altitude levels, submerged in 50-200 meters of seawater.

That doesn't sound like a plausible natural outcome of plate tectonics. Remember, Earth is 29% land, 71% seawater, and of that 71%, only a small fraction is shallow continental shelves.

3) Forested continental landmasses (where there are presumably other species of megatrees, better adapted to life on land)

15%

4) Non-forested continental landmasses (self-explanatory).

5%, Most of which is Volcanic.
So, what, there aren't any mountain ranges that are old like the Rockies and the Alps and for that matter the Himalayas, with little or no active vulcanism? Are there no landmasses at the poles that are simply untenable for megatrees? No elevated windswept plateaus or steppes where there isn't enough rainfall for megatrees to survive?

How do you envision plate tectonics, climate, and landforms on this planet working, to create such a deliberately unbalanced arrangement of biomes?
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2017-02-21 08:45pm

The megatrees are telepathically sustained or like such is their mega-ness that beneath the ground their roots actually connect so new mega-trees are spawned anywhere else when the parent-tree does a StarCraft Lurker/Sunken Colony-kind of deal and burrows a tendril across vast distances to have it pop up and sprout! So the coastal water-drinking well-nourished mega-trees can shoot their root-tendrils to punch through the bedrock and sprout and cover all the mountain ranges and supposed dry spots and plateus and steppes you propose.

Creating these Canals of Nydus also enables the mass proliferation of this near-mono-ecology across the planetary surface!

Because the mega-trees are actually this sentient Gaian, Pandoran Eywah network that's previously had to repulse invasive beings and if the colonists don't act carefully by mass-deploying Tarzan-Mecha-Moving-Castles across the landscape to respect its wishes... then all those ground-punching bunker-busting roots are gonna murder everyone!

Drinking the tree saps and nectars - imbued with the genetic memory-spores of the megaforest-mind - and communing with the world-soul unlocks this mystery and THUS it is imperative that the colonies start off with said marvelous vehicles! RIGHT AT THE START! Right here, right now!

There are the easy choices... and there are the RIGHT choices!
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2017-02-21 08:46pm

Fuck me, if humanity displeases these aliens, I bet one of those roots are gonna shoot right into the moon and then angry mega-trees will be in orbit too and the human colonies and ships will be trapped, either on the planet or in orbit, between the planetary-megaforests and the lunar-trees just ready to drop their kinetic-killseeds on everyone and ruin their shit!

GAME OVER MAN

(also ginormous shoulder pads will somehow inexorably inexplicably ENRAGE the world-mind!)
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Zor » 2017-02-21 10:55pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Exactly how does that work? Do they somehow tear down entire continental landmasses and lower them into the sea? Do they raise the deep sea beds up? Do they have power to manipulate plate tectonics and control its direction?

Basically if you put a mega tree seed off the coast of (for example) western Africa, the root system would gradually break apart the coastline and move rocks out to Sea until an optimal 50-200 meters is achieved, where it holds it. The process takes a long time, but gradually the Megatree and it's progeny would seed eat away at the coast of africa and move material over the continental shelf to make more habitat as shallow seas. Terrestrial Megatrees live at higher elevations.
So, what, there aren't any mountain ranges that are old like the Rockies and the Alps and for that matter the Himalayas, with little or no active vulcanism? Are there no landmasses at the poles that are simply untenable for megatrees? No elevated windswept plateaus or steppes where there isn't enough rainfall for megatrees to survive?

There are some non volcanic Mountain Ranges, but they're only about 40% of them are as such. Forest World is in a hothouse age.

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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Tribble » 2017-02-21 11:17pm

So... are these things sentient? Are they all working cooperatively? What kind of defenses do they have to protect themselves from other organisms, apart from their ridiculous size? Do they poison the ground around them? Are their seeds/ bark poisonous? Do they shoot stingers at anything that approaches sensitive areas?
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Sea Skimmer » 2017-02-21 11:26pm

Since it's apparently too late to worry about the moral implications of colonizing a world that already has a fire using species on it, nothing suggests agent orange won't still work, or copper spikes. I'd start churning out both as soon as possible. Not to wipe out the forest, it will be work enough curbing it.
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-22 08:41am

Well, the colonists are pretty much stuck making some kind of settlement. That doesn't mean they have to 'conquer the planet' at the expense of the indigenes.

Zor wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Exactly how does that work? Do they somehow tear down entire continental landmasses and lower them into the sea? Do they raise the deep sea beds up? Do they have power to manipulate plate tectonics and control its direction?
Basically if you put a mega tree seed off the coast of (for example) western Africa, the root system would gradually break apart the coastline and move rocks out to Sea until an optimal 50-200 meters is achieved, where it holds it. The process takes a long time, but gradually the Megatree and it's progeny would seed eat away at the coast of africa and move material over the continental shelf to make more habitat as shallow seas. Terrestrial Megatrees live at higher elevations.
There would be a lot of coastal environments where sediment deposition would bury the roots faster than they can break up the seafloor. Especially if this process is supposedly also eroding inland hills and mountains and washing their entire volume out to sea.

So, what, there aren't any mountain ranges that are old like the Rockies and the Alps and for that matter the Himalayas, with little or no active vulcanism? Are there no landmasses at the poles that are simply untenable for megatrees? No elevated windswept plateaus or steppes where there isn't enough rainfall for megatrees to survive?
There are some non volcanic Mountain Ranges, but they're only about 40% of them are as such. Forest World is in a hothouse age.
"Hothouse" doesn't mean "no arctic/tundra biomes on the planet," it just means they move further north. Like how "Ice age" doesn't mean "entire planet covered in ice."

There's still the question of desert areas, too. The planet can't ALL consist of environments capable of supporting megatrees.
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Rhadamantus » 2017-03-15 10:47pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Well, the colonists are pretty much stuck making some kind of settlement. That doesn't mean they have to 'conquer the planet' at the expense of the indigenes.

Zor wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Exactly how does that work? Do they somehow tear down entire continental landmasses and lower them into the sea? Do they raise the deep sea beds up? Do they have power to manipulate plate tectonics and control its direction?
Basically if you put a mega tree seed off the coast of (for example) western Africa, the root system would gradually break apart the coastline and move rocks out to Sea until an optimal 50-200 meters is achieved, where it holds it. The process takes a long time, but gradually the Megatree and it's progeny would seed eat away at the coast of africa and move material over the continental shelf to make more habitat as shallow seas. Terrestrial Megatrees live at higher elevations.
There would be a lot of coastal environments where sediment deposition would bury the roots faster than they can break up the seafloor. Especially if this process is supposedly also eroding inland hills and mountains and washing their entire volume out to sea.

So, what, there aren't any mountain ranges that are old like the Rockies and the Alps and for that matter the Himalayas, with little or no active vulcanism? Are there no landmasses at the poles that are simply untenable for megatrees? No elevated windswept plateaus or steppes where there isn't enough rainfall for megatrees to survive?
There are some non volcanic Mountain Ranges, but they're only about 40% of them are as such. Forest World is in a hothouse age.
"Hothouse" doesn't mean "no arctic/tundra biomes on the planet," it just means they move further north. Like how "Ice age" doesn't mean "entire planet covered in ice."

There's still the question of desert areas, too. The planet can't ALL consist of environments capable of supporting megatrees.


If it's hot enough, there might not be any tundra (A capsica type situation.)
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-16 12:15am

I mean, strictly that's conceivable, but by the same token, if it's that hot at the poles, there should be significant regions on land near the equator that are just too hot to support megatrees, or much other organic life for that matter. And these areas would not be subject to the massive hyper-erosion that supposedly dumps the continents into the sea; I'm still a bit confused about how the megatrees were supposed to thrive by doing this.

Given that it would take geologic timescales for the offshore 'mangrove' megatrees to "eat" significant fractions of a continental landmass, I'd expect the megatrees to evolve to adapt for life on land faster than that. So that there'd be 'terrestrial' forests of megatrees and the whole planet wouldn't just be so dominated by one single biome that Zor can pretend other biomes don't exist.
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Knife » 2017-03-17 12:36pm

Going to have to make some assumptions, like what were the colonists expecting as far as a planet. Were they expecting a planet of this particular size and composition. Were they expecting the atmosphere roughly that was discovered upon arrival? What kind of prefabed like stuff did they bring with them and what kind of reentry vehicles did they bring? I mean are we just jumping in the old 'escape pod' type capsule and more or less parachute back to the ground? Is it more like a reusable rocket ie Falcon to land on a more or less flat surface? Some sort of variant to a space shuttle to come in and skid out? What are we dealing with here?

So, besides that, first bit is to find a location or region to colonize. With 50k peeps, as Broomstick and Simon points out, might want to spread them out a bit but with a whole planet, localized to be mutually supportive. With the information available, perhaps a coastal region where the mega trees are thin as they transition to the sea. Since they took 200 years to get here, might want to park the ship in orbit and sit for a year to map and track weather as well as general mapping of the surface.

Once a spot is located, still thinking of a coastal area for both sea access, land access, but also where potable water meets the sea. If we use drop/capsule type lander, a soft landing in the ocean close to land makes sense too. Adjust the orbit of the original ship to a geosynchronous orbit for ongoing space support like weather monitoring, local near planet asteroid search and research (I wonder with space access if it would be as easy to do asteroid mining as it would to start planetary mining from scratch?) so and and so forth. Then send in initial teams to place the first base, lets say Alpha Site. Get a couple dozen down there to set up shop, with the probability of local species, make basic dirt walls around the camp, pre fab buildings and green houses. Start biological research on air, dirt, plants, and local animals.

Then after two or three years, expand out to other sites in a geographical region, say within a couple hundred miles of coast line. I could honestly see it taking up to 5-10 years to disembark all personnel from the ship to permanent ground based facilities. Of course, it is possible some may not ever go, needing a permanent orbital crew, though I would assume such things would rotate.
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-17 08:50pm

One point I think you're missing is that the coastal areas are precisely where the megatrees thrive; they're more like super-mangroves and less like super-redwoods. The coastlines aren't clear, although it's not clear whether there are other lesser forms of vegetation and general terrain clutter that live around the trunks of the mega-mangroves that dominate the planet's coastlines.

Zor even asserts that over time the mega-mangroves' multi-mile roots infiltrate and break up the coastal land areas, resulting in a disproportionate share of the planet being covered in shallow seas and continental shelves ideal for the mega-mangroves. I'm kind of skeptical of that part.

But yeah, if you go back over the OP, water transportation may not be the best bet on this planet.
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Rhadamantus » 2017-03-17 10:43pm

I think settling in the mountains is the best idea. While volcanism is a problem, it seems rather easier to deal with than the lowland ecology, which not be very friendly to settlers. Preferably three groups, each about two hundred miles away (less if tech levels are only modern).

How thick is this planet's atmosphere?
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Zixinus » 2017-03-18 04:44am

Zor: What resources do the colonists have? Do they have earthmovers and other large-scale landscape altering tools? Do they closed food production systems? Do they bring with them nuclear power sources? do they have robotic workforces? Replicating capabilities? Can the colonists afford to wait with their ship in orbit and send down people in ships to survey the areas?

Because I think the best spot would be somewhere arid (and rocky) enough that the mega-trees aren't there yet but still has a source of water, like a river. Later, the river can be altered as well as the colonists building out a more secure source of water like tapping into aquifers. It may be prudent to choose places that have low wildlife, because we do not know how they react to earth biology. If we find out that we taste really ,really good it is better to find out from the equivalent of desert mice than the local equivalent of wolves and lions.

Other things would also have to be taken into accont, such as access to minerals and ores for industry.
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby madd0ct0r » 2017-03-18 07:17am

@Simon Jester - I'd just accept the super mangroves species has evolved in such a way that the enviroment that occurs around them favours them. In this case, seeding and growing in shallow seas and expanding the range of 'shallow seas' around them. In the same way redwood trees are nearly fireproof but encourage frequent forest fires in their forests and birch trees drip poisonous oils from their branches to keep the soil around them clear. Classic daisy world stuff,

I'm actually inspired more by reed beds than mangroves, but that might be familiarity. Reed beds will expand by silt build up into deeper and faster areas of current, slowing the river, raising the water level and slowly turning the entire landscape into a giant reed bed.

Mission Log: I have commisioned a report on this process from Bionmoicran Parvar. Let's see what's she digs up. I also await reports from Security Hyemn and the joint report from Anthroplogist Madhva and Zoologist Hobbes on the inhabitants of this planet. Debate is raging in mess halls on moral rights. Fact remains if we all stay in space we will all die. If it is ok to steal a loaf of bread when you are starving, surely it is ok to take an area of the planet to save thousands?
One faction advocates ignoring the the natives as far as possible. Another that we call them 'the owners' to establish the right memetic space, and provide them with technology as they ask for it. A third ignores the natives as a factor, and concrates on what % of the mega-tree area we should deforest to provide us with comfortable living qaurters.

---

Mission Log: Rumours and bets on settlement location continues across the ship. Lots are being drawn on who will be the Shipe-Shapers. Ship cannot enter the atmosphere without breaking up, and the old gal has taken a hell of a beating from the voyage. Still, with the room freed up as shuttles start departing, there's no reason not to make a permanant base of the old gal. The profoundly ill, like diabetics and cerebral palsied and those in remission will stay for now of course. The Wireds have largely volunteered to stay rather than give up their links. Reprensentatives of each colony point will need to remain too. The hope is for the Shipe Shapers to be able to provide orbital scans, drops of refined metal or criticalpath parts and, if the solar array project works out, energy beams. The fear is they will use the ultimate high ground to extort, dominate or play at kingmaker. This problem remains unresolved, but the value of a colony point at the top of the grav well is too valuablee to ignore.

For the colonies, we are approaching it with the Maslov hieracrhy principal. Food, Water, Air and Shelter and Energy first.
> Water can be desalinated, tapped from the mega trees (potentially), pumped up from the deep soils or condensed from the air. All these options need energy, some need area, some need access to a non universal resouce - seawater, aquifiers ect.
> Food can be grown in dirt using sun energy, or grown in hydroponic racks. One needs area, the other needs energy.
> Air, at least, appears to be in abundance. Offgassing will be a critical hazard to monitor in volcanic areas.
> Shelter. This requires area, preferably not on the shallow sea that covers so much of this planet. Materials are highly adaptable, we can build in anything from rammed earth to weed-woods to metal trusses, depending on the energy we're willing to input and the local conditions. The fabric of the buildings will be the different plastic membranes already cast up and delivered in the shuttles. They will provide insulation, wicking, active moisture control and waterproofing. The rest of the strucutre is just to hold them in place in the wind.
> Energy is uniquley problematic. We came expecting wide plains to covert to solar farms. There may be concentrations of fissile material that are worth mining, but they require finding, and bluntly, we do not have the industrial base or the manpower to risk on such an endevour. The deep seas represent the chance of oil-algae farming, but again, that is a challenge for the future generation. The mega-trees may represent reasonably concentrated energy deposits that could be sawn up for biodgiestor or even burnt, but frankly, on this planet, we don't know enough about consequences of interfering that way.
The volanic areas, for all their obvious hazards, represent a good, reliable energy source, and, if guesses based on earth are anything to go by, decent soil, and enough time to get established before tree cover changes the situation to something more complex and alien. We need time to understand those other areas.

Current Proposal:

Ideal site: volcanic area, range running north-south. Two main towns either side of the mountain range - we're not sure what the long term weather patterns are, so getting some infrastrucutre either side early is a nice insurance option. Get them up and running, get a trainline between the two and then push two-three smaller towns out from each main town, focused on learning and exploring what resources are available.
Mining and prospecting outpost is a given, espcially in a volcanic area.
Tree's must fall at some point, and it'd be nice to establish a base on a fallen tree trunk, as that's probably the best 'solid land' in the shallow seas areas. Likewise, a sea'port', located where the volcanic zone has cleared the trees but the land height is still below water, where there is a clearer coastline should give us a lot of information. A rough sketch is provided for the settlement pattern after the first five years of adapation and learning:

http://imgur.com/tJAQKeG
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Knife » 2017-03-18 08:13am

Simon_Jester wrote:One point I think you're missing is that the coastal areas are precisely where the megatrees thrive; they're more like super-mangroves and less like super-redwoods. The coastlines aren't clear, although it's not clear whether there are other lesser forms of vegetation and general terrain clutter that live around the trunks of the mega-mangroves that dominate the planet's coastlines.

Zor even asserts that over time the mega-mangroves' multi-mile roots infiltrate and break up the coastal land areas, resulting in a disproportionate share of the planet being covered in shallow seas and continental shelves ideal for the mega-mangroves. I'm kind of skeptical of that part.

But yeah, if you go back over the OP, water transportation may not be the best bet on this planet.


Well that's dumb then. So... either a floating city in the sea, set up shop next to a volcano, drop a couple rocks from orbit to clear out a LZ, or skip the place.
They say, "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." I suppose it never occurred to them that they are the tyrants, not the patriots. Those weapons are not being used to fight some kind of tyranny; they are bringing them to an event where people are getting together to talk. -Mike Wong

But as far as board culture in general, I do think that young male overaggression is a contributing factor to the general atmosphere of hostility. It's not SOS and the Mess throwing hand grenades all over the forum- Red

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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby madd0ct0r » 2017-03-18 12:33pm

Meh, at 6-10km canopy diamter, even with a complex root spread I don't think the trunks are going to be too closely spaced.

Image

More like each tree would be an island with a huge central core (potentially a hollow core at that). All around that would be outgrowth, barnacles, small trees, trapped sediment, lines of seaweed, corals ect. The size of island that builds up would probably vary from place to place with weather, availabilty of material and currents, but 40,000 years is a long time for anything to build up.
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Re: You are in charge of settling Forest World (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-18 04:07pm

madd0ct0r wrote:@Simon Jester - I'd just accept the super mangroves species has evolved in such a way that the enviroment that occurs around them favours them. In this case, seeding and growing in shallow seas and expanding the range of 'shallow seas' around them. In the same way redwood trees are nearly fireproof but encourage frequent forest fires in their forests and birch trees drip poisonous oils from their branches to keep the soil around them clear. Classic daisy world stuff...
Yeah, but the problem is that there's something of a gap between trees being able to do this to cause alterations in the manner of a reed bed, versus being able to bust up continental landmasses down to and below bedrock until practically the entire vaguely habitable region of the planet consists of gigantic trees in shallow seawater. It's a difference of degree so large that it strains credulity to imagine it happening on THAT large a scale.
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