Ecosystem

Canadian Boreal Forest Sketchbook pages 10-13

Looking into the inner workings of the Canadian boreal I learnt about the relationships between animals and the environment. I studied the food web of the forest to understand a basic concept of how organisms are grouped into categories based on what they eat and what they are eaten by. Diving deeper into these relationships brought me to symbiotic and short-term relationships which explain how two can organisms interact in a shared habitat. The idea that nature is always in a precise balance that can be thrown off by any slight disturbance and how it recovers intrigues me; every organism in a habitat has a purpose and benefits from and/or provides benefits to other organisms.

Seasons also play an important role in the ecosystem; since the boreal is deep into the northern hemisphere, the climate is much colder than what we are used to and the structure of seasons that we are familiar doesn’t apply. Northern cultures recognise 6 seasons as the periods that they call ‘break up’ and ‘freeze up’ represent the time when the rivers are either thawing or freezing. The change in weather with each passing season impacts the behaviours of animals in the forests. During the warmer months they can consume fresh vegetation and reproduce, while in the colder months they must survive off limited supplies or food that they have stashed. Some animals chose to hibernate through most of winter while others are adapted enough to roam around. None the less, the change in seasons correlates to change in the dynamics of the forest and that could provide some interesting ideas for game mechanics or features. I personally like the idea of a game that will change over time, whether on a short or long scale, as it would challenge the player to adapt.

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