Vegetation patterns on Arth

The hot climate of Arth , together with the size of the continents means that there is a fairly distinct association of vegetation with particular latitudes. The furthest northern parts of both Gorgamelle and Lumulea are open wind-scoured plains, whose only vegetation is tough grasses and mosses - and the chimney-trees associated with thermal areas in Gorgamelle. South of that stretch wide belts of confierous forest : swordtrees, spikeleaves and various sorts of narrowleaf. In areas with plentiful rainfall, these forests blend into a narrower zone of temperate rainforest, characterised by softwood trees of numerous types. Where rainfall is less, the confierous forest straggles out into grassland, dotted with isolated softwoods and ironbark trees. In both Gorgamelle and Lumulea, the centre of the continent is occupied by rolling open grasslands, often arid and dusty, with few trees. In Lumulea, the heart of this range is covered by the spectacular firegrass, so named for its dark red colour and yellow stripes.

The stable weather patterns on Arth also mean athat some areas consistently recieve little water, even though close to the coast, so that in the tropical zone, there are extensive deserts, with little vegetation except the hardy firegrass and scrubby thorntrees. In the sandblasted Deserts of Lamentation, there is not even that - merely wastes of sand and rock.

However, where there is sufficient rain, the tropical belt is covered by towering forests, dominated by the mighty Pinya tree. Old pinya trees can grow up to 300 metres in height, and their intricate lattices of multiple trunks and twined-together branches support wide-spreading, purple-red leaves that block out most of the light to lower regions. Thus the forest floor dwells in permanent semi-darkness - an eerie world of luminous fungi, twining parasitic vines, and fleshy trees that are carnivourous or sapprophtic rather than photosynthetic.

Of course these are general descriptions - within any area, local weather conditions and altitude affect the flora to be found. The map below depicts general vegetation patterns. More detailed local maps will display the vegetation for those locales more accurately.



 A brief note : the atmosphere of Arth is rich in carbon, and temperatures are higher on average than those of our world. This means that plants which use the reddish rhodopsin are able to compete effectively with those that use the more familiar (to us) greenish chlorophyll. This is why on Arth, many plants - especially in tropical areas - are dark red , not green.

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