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                                 Station 7

          Station 7 is the decomposition area. In truth, the whole forest is a decomposition area because everything that lives in the forest becomes part of the forest when it dies. The forest is a messy place. Trees are always dying and being blown down in storms. Branches fall down from trees. Every fall, the forest is covered with a new layer of dead leaves. These leaves are very important to the forest for many reasons, but they eventually decay and provide fertilizer for all of the forest plants. Fungi, otherwise known as mushrooms, break down the wood of dead trees and release these nutrients back into the soil. Fallen trees are habitats for a huge variety of small animals and insects.  When a live tree is blown down in a storm, it opens up a "hole" in the forest canopy where sunlight can shine down and allow new trees to grow. Dead animals become food for scavengers and rodents chew on the bones for calcium.


Last Modified on September 6, 2012