A variety of disturbances, inspired by both natural and human causes, can result in trees being uprooted. Yet in death there is life. The roots of the fallen tree can provide excellent habitat for woodland rodents and small ground-dwelling birds like the winter wren. Frequently water will collect in the depression left by uprooting and serve as a vernal pool. Furthermore, as it rots, the downed trunk can serve as a nutrient rich nurse log for young seedlings to generate within. In these ways, dead plant matter leaves a valuable biological legacy that can benefit the forest for years to come.
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