| Story by Cindy Cain |
The word “forest” conjures up images of healthy stands of trees, green with promise in the spring and sporting a rich palette of golds, reds and oranges in the fall.
But forests also feature dead and dying trees. And limbs, trunks and branches that are devoid of life are just as important to the forest ecosystem as healthy trees.
“Everything in the forest benefits from dead or dying trees,” said Bob Bryerton, an interpretive naturalist with the Forest Preserve District. “They are very important for the health of a forest. Dead standing trees, live trees that are compromised by fungus or insects, and fallen branches or trees that are on the ground all provide habitat and food for animals that live in the woods.”
Some species are particularly geared to benefit from dead trees.