|Module 3 — Stand level
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
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Module 3, Part B — Wildlife trees — continued
Why are wildlife trees important?
Wildlife trees at all stages provide a portion of the life support system for many species of plants, invertebrates, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Altogether, more than 80 animal species in British Columbia depend on dead or deteriorating trees. Some of the uses include nesting, feeding, communication (drumming, marking), roosting, shelter, and over wintering.
Some wildlife tree users are considered threatened or endangered. In some places, loss of wildlife trees has already resulted in decreased abundance and variety of wildlife tree users, and may contribute to the eventual loss of some species.
Many wildlife tree users help control forest pests. Most cavity nesting birds eat insects.
there other benefits of wildlife trees?
If so, name them.
What else do you know about mycorrhizae?
|Another beneficial group of
wildlife tree users are the birds of prey: owls that nest in tree
cavities and hawks that use the trees as hunting perches. These
birds prey on mice and other rodents that often eat tree seeds or
Some wildlife tree users help disperse seeds, mycorrhizal spores, and nutrients. The commercially valuable conifers in BC depend on mycorrhizal (root-inhabiting) fungi that help the roots absorb nutrients from the soil.
Many seeds, like spores, also are adapted to pass through the digestive systems; so seed-eating mammals and birds play a part in seed dispersal.
As well, birds and bats concentrate and transport nutrients from one part of the forest to another through their droppings.
|Habitat value||Wildlife trees are an important
element of natural forest ecosystems in British Columbia. However,
not all trees make good wildlife trees. In general, larger size
trees, either live or dead, with a sound outer shell (but with heartrot) and intact
branch and bark structure, will persist longer and make good
wildlife trees over time.
Natural disturbance factors such as fire, insect and disease attack also influence the distribution, structure, and longevity of wildlife trees.
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