Nurse logs provide new habitat: western hemlock
Tall, wide trees in the forests of the Pacific Northwest serve as nurse logs to their seedlings after they fall, providing decades of water and nutrients as they slowly decay.
|Biomimetic Application Ideas|
> Visit strategy page
"They do so with the aid of their own dead bodies. The girth of an adult tree is such that the upper side of a fallen trunk remains above the ferns. A seed from a neighbouring tree that lands on it can thus get sufficient light to germinate. Being perched there brings another advantage: the bark of the prostrate tree is very fibrous and holds moisture like a sponge to the young plant does not lack for water. As the seedling sprouts, it sends down roots. They grow over the flank of the log and down into the rich soil beneath. As they gain strength, these roots thicken. While they are doing so, fungi are feasting in the wood of the log. Slowly it rots and begins to crumble away providing more sustenance for the young trees. After several decades, the log has been reduced to mouldering fragments. But the young seedlings still hold their position high above the ferns for their roots have now become so thick, they support them like stilts." (Attenborough 1995:180)
Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern
Some organism data provided by: Conifer Database
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist
Application Ideas: Resource allocation strategies, models for fostering cooperative relationships among venerable and youthful employees.
Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Management