A swarm planet in Sextans, apparently infected with a machinecology of unknown origin.
A Machinecology is an artificial analog to a biological ecology. The components of a machine ecology may include nanotech robotic bacteria-analogs and microscale and macroscale analogs to autotrophs, heterotrophs and decay organisms. In some cases such an ecology is capable of evolution by exchanging and self-modifying the design specifications of each independent component. In other cases the machinecology is directed by an intelligent agent of some sort, sometimes contained within the ecology and sometimes external to it.
A planet or megastructure which is covered in machinecologies is commonly known as a botworld. Since almost every planet in the Terragen Sphere holds a significant amount of self-maintaining machinery, the mechanical content of each world is known collectively as the Mechosphere.
Bothyga M'Vau, a planet covered in feral machinecologies
Machine ecologies are considerably more common than biological ecologies in volumes controlled by the Diamond Network and the Solipsist Panvirtuality. In the Current Era both of these metaempires avoid worlds with biological lifeforms, as it seems that they wish to avoid uncontrolled hybridisation events.
Hylonanecology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A nanecology built solely on inorganic nanobots. The most extreme form is Machinonanecology. In practice however most hylonanecologies and bionanecologies tend to merge, with each using components found in the other; the difference between them being one of degree rather than of kind.
Nano-ecology, Nanecology - Text by Anders Sandberg A distributed system of nanodevices and the structures constructed by them that self-organizes in a bottom-up manner without any central control; analogous to an ecology. Sometimes used to denote the entire nanosphere of a world, even when parts of it are under top-down control.