Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Wednesday Explorers Club ~ ecological succession
Years ago a large tree fell down at the bottom of our hill. It was too big to cut with a chainsaw, so it sat. Through wind and rain and snow and hot summer days - soaking up moisture - and now it is getting hard to recognize. Mosses cover much of the top. Leaves fallen and composted year after year have created compost that now provide a place for grasses to root.
Each group of occupants changes the log - making it suitable for the next plant and animal inhabitants. The process is called ecological succession.
What will our neighborhood tree trunk look like in two years? In five? In another decade?
What's growing on and in it? Can you see lichens? Fungi? Mosses? Are their plant stems stretching across the surface? Stems and leaves sprouting from the cracks?
What kinds of insects and other animals are using it?
How does it change over the next year? Document what you observe using photos, drawings, and notes.