Towering Pipetrunk

From 2speccers2tools wiki

The abundant nutrient availability of coastal temperate Dingus and Kamm supplied by oceanic gyres proved to be a major boon to the local biota, spurring prolific numbers and considerable diversity. Among this diversity is the development of the tallest “trees” in the seas so far - with such ample fuel to go by, some Pipetrunk Turdhurbs became absolutely gigantic, becoming the first Towering Pipetrunks.

The growth of a Towering Pipetrunk is considerably different from its ancestry. A crown of blades develops from its apex, which branch off and spread as the flora gains height, thereby maximizing photosynthetic area. Added height is supplied by alternating stipe segments reinforced with a lead cuticle rising from a wide base. The interior of the stipe is hollow, which not only allows nutrients to be better distributed into its tissues, but also lessens the weight of its lead cuticle. Firm holdfasts secure the flora to a stable spot on the seabed while also providing access for nutrients to enter it.

Due to the considerable quantities of lead they require, a single Towering Pipetrunk may take a couple of decades to reach full size

More recent stands of Towering Pipetrunk often have enough space and resources to bud new individuals from their holdfasts, but this behavior is very rarely seen in established stands, as new growth would very likely be starved of sunlight by adult flora. Instead, pipetrunks here send out spores from below their blade bases, which will ride the water column in hope of settling away from their parents. Alternatively, new pipetrunks can generate from severed blades as storms often rip through the waters these groves are found in.

Mature Towering Pipetrunk stands are a sight to behold, and provide a veritable home for many fauna.