Pokemon Ecology

When trying to anticipate what kinds of pokemon can be found where, terrain type obviously matters, but even more important is the ecology type (which often dictates the possible terrain types, especially since large collections of pokemon - or single powerful ones - tend to shape the land over time). Pokemon ecologies generally settle into one of five types, based on the ultimate food source.

  • Phototrophic: the bottom of the food chain is sunlight. Grass pokemon are most abundant, followed by their predators (mostly flying and bug types - and ice in cold regions, or fire in hot). Humans, if present, often use this for growing food, as plants and sub-pokemon animals (mainly insects, reptiles, and birds) are most abundant here, which also attracts normal type pokemon.
  • Lithotropic: the bottom of the food chain is nutrient-bearing rocks. Ground and rock pokemon are most abundant, followed by their predators (mostly grass, fighting, and steel types on land, and water types at or near sea). Humans, if present, often mine this.
  • Thermotrophic: the bottom of the food chain is thermal (usually volcanic) energy. Fire pokemon are most abundant, followed by their predators (mostly ground and rock types on land, and water types at or near sea). Humans, if present, sometimes set up power stations, which attracts electric pokemon.
  • Chemotrophic: the bottom of the food chain is chemical energy. Poison pokemon are most abundant, followed by their predators (mostly ground and psychic types). Humans, if present, may use this as a dumping ground (which may be the source of the chemical energy) or process it (e.g. for petroleum).
  • Thaumotrophic: the bottom of the food chain is thoughts and emotions. Ghost pokemon are most abundant, followed by their predators (mostly dark types). Living humans are rarely present; the thoughts and emotions linger from dead humans and pokemon, though this also tends to form in the shadows and alleys around concentrations of human artistic expression with lots of visitors (such as any frequently used theater).
  • Aquatrophic: the bottom of the food chain is water, somehow energized, that water pokemon can directly feed on. This is a hypothetical ecology that has never been directly observed, but it would explain why water types at sea are more numerous than the types they commonly prey upon. A more favored explanation - with some observational evidence - is that aquatic ecologies are primarily lithotrophic, but the ground and rock pokemon do not stray from the feeding grounds at the bottom of the sea, so all we see at the surface are the water types that do.

These are rough guides. Any type of pokemon can show up anywhere (especially if accompanying a human), and some places support more than one of these ecologies (lithotrophic and thermotrophic are the most often combined, although industrial sections of cities often result in similar pokemon inhabitants as a combination of thermotrophic and chemotrophic).

Dragon types are just plain rare in the wild, and primarily seem to prey on predators. Fairy types - a standard that was proposed and recognized fairly recently (to explain data the other types did not quite seem to) - seem to primarily prey on dragons when they hunt other pokemon at all; the science is not settled.

There are animals and plants in addition to pokemon. Prior to the invention of the pokedex, the easiest way to tell them apart was to use a pokeball (or an apricorn before then): only pokemon are affected. One can no more catch a human than a tree (assuming the tree is not a pokemon in disguise). With the exception of humans, where animals or plants compete with pokemon, pokemon tend to win out, largely limiting animals and plants to niches that pokemon do not contest (small insects, completely immobile trees, and so on). Domesticated animals exist too, where they serve better than pokemon: for instance, when taking a herd of cows to the slaughterhouse, one can be certain the cows will not suddenly break out hyper beams.

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