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Nutrients can be produced from map squares with sufficient Rainfall, Farms, condensers, soil enrichers, monoliths, forests, nutrient bonuses, and from the Monsoon Jungle and Freshwater Sea landmarks.

There are several ways to gain extra nutrient production.

Until the discovery of Gene Splicing, squares are normally limited to producing 2 nutrients. The base square, a square containing a nutrient bonus, or a Condenser all bypass the early restriction.

Starting each turn, if a base's nutrient storage is full, and the net gain of nutrients is either neutral or positive, the population grows by one and the storage is emptied. If there is a net loss beyond exhausting the storage, the population decreases by one. Then nutrients produced are tallied up, and two per population point are consumed. Nutrient storage is then adjusted by the net gain or loss, gains are limited to the bases storage capacity.