Bitchiphytes

From 2speccers2tools wiki

As Cube began to be covered in large piss flora, opportunities for new niches began to emerge. For one group of Bigger Mushroom Bitches, they would begin to grow on the trunks of large piss flora such as the several species of piss trees. While the earliest colonists to such an ecological role had their roots dig into the bark and steal nutrients for themselves to grow, they produced descendants who would redevelop plastids in their tissues that allowed them to gain energy in photosynthesis. With the ability to get energy from sunlight once more, these ploralps would make use of the extra height to get more sunlight and rapidly diversified. In time, they would become an entirely new genus group of ploralps endemic to Cube known as either Tree-Clinging Plortworts or as the Bitchiphytes. Though all members of this genus get at least some of their energy through photosynthesis, some basal species of Bitchiphytes also supplement their diet of sunlight with the nutrients of whatever piss flora they are growing on and so have roots that penetrate the bark. The vast majority of Tree-Clinging Plortwort species, however, merely have their root systems crawl over the surface and aid only in maintaining their grip so they don't fall off. There is also a third group of Bitchiphytes that specialize in growing on dead piss flora, retaining root systems that pierce the surface tissues of the dead piss flora, but now also releasing enzymes to break down the decaying organic matter so it can be absorbed into their own tissues for nutrients.

When it comes to reproduction, all species within this genus group produce spores, but they have taken a unique approach to spreading them. Instead of releasing them into the air and letting the wind randomly guide them, the Bitchiphytes retain the spores within their brightly colored caps which attract local fauna species that will then proceed to feed on them. The spores have developed a tough outer-casing so they can tolerate the digestive juices of whatever eats the cap so they can be deposited elsewhere. If they grow on a species of piss flora, they will begin to take root and grow into a new Tree-Clinging Plortwort. Not all species rely solely on this method of reproduction, however, with some species of Bitchiphytes also having some of their caps bursting open so that their spores can be carried by a gentle breeze and land somewhere else. While certain basal species of parasitic Tree-Clinging Plortworts employ this technique, its actually the saprotrophic species of Bitchiphytes that mainly use airborne spores with some species even using them almost exclusively.

An inside view of a Bitchiphyte's fruiting body, containing all the spores.