Biomes are the backdrop for ecosystems in the Microbe Stage. Biomes in the Microbe Stage are preset, unlike in the later stages.
Biomes define the conditions of the environment in a certain area. Different conditions in different biomes will restrict the habitats of microbial species and lead to the creation of different species of Microbes residing in different parts of the planet.
Every biome is defined by a set of physical characteristics called "Environmental Variables". These can range from the level of light present, the temperature of the surrounding, the pressure, and more. Below is a list of all the environmental variables.
- Biome Name:
- Sunlight (% Intensity): Light will appear in the environment ranging between a set of intensities. It speeds up chloroplasts, but at higher intensities can also damage cells that haven't evolved pigments to protect against solar radiation.
- Temperature (°C): Heat will appear in the environment ranging between a set of temperatures. It speeds up thermoplasts, but at higher temperatures can also damage cells that get too close and aren't evolved to withstand high heat.
- Currents: How strong the water currents are, affecting the need to evolve more movement organelles or not, and how quickly compounds circulate throughout the environment.
- Salinity (% Ratio of salt to liquid): Cells that are adapted to high salinity need to evolve their membranes to migrate into low salinity biomes. (This might be an unnecessary variable to include)
- Pressure (atm): Cells that are adapted to high pressure need to evolve their membranes to migrate into low pressure biomes.
- Acidity (pH): Cells that are adapted to regular pH need to evolve to tolerate highly acidic or basic environments.
- Compounds: A list of compounds and how common they are.
- Visuals: The colours and VFX of the biome.
- Notes: Any other notes about the biome.
Though some factors of a biome are relatively constant, some can be subject to change from natural phenomena. For example the ocean surface may start deoxygenated, but years of photosynthesis could lead to an oxygenation event ultimately leading to a buildup of oxygen in the ocean surface.
The physical and chemical boundaries of life will make each species only able to tolerate a certain range of each Environmental Variable. On the standard, Earth-based player world produced via Planet Generation (sometimes referred to as Pangonia), life will always originate at one of the planet's Hydrothermal Vents biomes. As such, life on "Pangonia planets" will always start with the following environmental tolerances:
- Temperature: 50-70 °C
- Pressure: 100-200 atm
- Light: 0-5%
- pH: 6-8
- Salinity: 0-50,000 ppm
If a species migrates to a patch with variables outside of its tolerances, it will receive penalties to its cellular functions. This will be in the form of a reduction to the efficiency (i.e. processing speed) of its compound processing organelles. These means any organelles that turn one compound into another, or turn compounds into ATP. The penalties, per variable, are:
- Temperature: -10% efficiency for every 5°C out of range.
- Pressure: -10% efficiency for every 20 atm out of range.
- Light: -10% efficiency for every 5% out of range.
- pH: -10% efficiency for every pH 0.5 out of range.
- Salinity: -10% efficiency for every 1000 ppm out of range.
These penalties stack, so if you are 20 atm out of your depth tolerance, and 5% out of your light tolerance, you will receive an overall 20% penalty to your cell's efficiency. This will mean species are encouraged to live within the biomes they're adapted to, or evolve to adapt to new biomes if they want to compete there. It will also drive species to diverge if living in separate biomes.
The current list of biomes can be found on the Microbe Appendices page here.
For the direct link to the spreadsheet look here.
Underwater Cavern? Ice Shelf? Estuary?
This topic is currently being discussed here: https://forum.revolutionarygamesstudio.com/t/differentiating-microbe-biomes/194/3