Cubican Marginalp

From 2speccers2tools wiki

While the waterways of Dingus boast the greatest diversity of freshwater biota on 2s2tworld, it wouldn't take long for the riverine systems of the other landmasses to follow suit; slowly but surely, these too will host their own, unique assemblages of freshwater life - this process of course starting with simple flora. In the waterways of southern Cube, the Cubican Marginalp is a fine example of this; although ancestrally a marine flora (and some populations still are), it exhibits a few adaptations which make life in much less salty waters more hospitable.

This flora thrives best in brackish or estuarine water, although populations are indeed present somewhat further upstream. Ensuring its range into the waterways of Cube, the Cubican Marginalp’s cells contain somewhat smaller vacuoles to ensure osmoregulatory balance and not overfill with water; having just split from marine flora however, they still require considerable salt concentrations to persist, and thus cannot be found more than five kilometers away from the sea. Between marine and river delta populations, a continuum of increasing freshwater tolerance exists the closer one moves into the rivers, and it’s likely the prominent population boundaries will diverge into distinct species. Externally, the Cubican Marginalp is distinctive for its fringed blades, shaped so to minimize resistance against the flowing water upstream and to enhance photosynthetic surface area. The latter function is quite beneficial as conditions where upstream populations are found in make it hard for light to refract, so it helps to gather as much available sunlight as possible. Consequently, this flora’s blades can reach far longer than their ancestry - averaging out to under 50 cm in length. While severed blades can still regenerate, it takes somewhat longer due to their length.

Sturdy holdfasts reach deep into the substrate both to acquire nutrients and secure its position against the potentially turbulent waters.

Much like their ancestry, Cubican Marginalps periodically send out gametes into the water column - often quite far, then conjugating to form zygote spores, in turn developing into a new flora. Alternatively, clones can be bud off from runner-like holdfasts - or more rarely, from severed blade fragments.

Provided there is a consistently abundant outwash of nutrients, these flora can grow in dense clonal clusters.