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Post 1 - Succession

The forest around you may look like a stable place, but it is actually part of a cycle called "succession." Though this area may be known as an "old-growth forest," some patches are actually going through early stages of succession at any given point in time. When a large tree falls, it opens up space and light to new plants. Grasses, flowers, and shrubs come first, followed by sun-loving tree species like Douglas-firs. This change in plant composition is accompanied by the arrival of animal species like small mammals that can only survive in young forest patches. Eventually, the trees grow tall enough to cover the ground in shade and new, shade tolerant tree species grow beneath them. Large and small events create the mosaic of young and old trees, shrubs, animals, insects, and fungi that you see before you.

But what do you think happens to the dead trees after they fall?

Click on the pictures below to enlarge them.

Succession-1 Succession-2 Succession-3 Succession-4


Arrow RightPost 2-Decomposers