Monday 11 December 2023

A load of rot …

Day 162 #365DaysWild

We’re adding deadwood to each part of the garden. Upright. Laid on the soil surface. In piles. Path edging. Logs. Stumps. Chipped. 

Deadwood plays a key role in ecosystem functioning and productivity in terrestrial and riparian habitats. It provides habitat for many species of bryophytes, lichens, fungi, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Despite this essential role, deadwood has been removed from woodland ecosystems by humans for thousands of years’ - Buglife.

Arborists here on Friday and a sycamore reduced to three metres height. Sycamores are not native and support very few of our native species. This one was dominating the light reaching young birch and yew below. Sunshine!

The remaining stump will host ivy and I will remove the green shoots in summer to minimise further growth. A heavy day moving logs.

Deadwood is vital to biodiversity. Fruiting bodies of fungus require decaying wood and support over 250 species of gnats.

These, in turn, are vital to bats, birds and invertebrates.

Our antipathy to invertebrates is evidenced when the RHS says ‘Adult fungus gnats do not damage plants but they can cause annoyance when they are flying around indoors’.

What annoyance? They’re fascinating.

Loadsa rotting wood here … with the promise of more to follow.

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