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Ancient Tree Ecology

Ancient trees are full of nooks and crannies, holes and dead and rotting wood. As the years go by they provide the perfect homes for thousands of species of plants, animals and fungi, including many rare and threatened species. Clusters of ancient trees are even more important because together all the trees will offer a really wide range of niche homes for lots of different specialist species in just one small area.

What makes ancient trees unique as a wildlife habitat, is the exceptionally species rich communities associated with wood decay and the bare surfaces of trunks, bough and roots.

‘10,000 oaks of 100 years old are not a substitute for one 500 year old oak’
Oliver Rackham, conservation author and historian

So far, we have only scratched the surface in understanding the role ancient trees play in sustaining wildlife. Who knows how many other wonders have yet to be discovered about ancient trees and the species that live in them?

For more information on the role of ancient trees in sustaining wildlife species, please click on one of the links below:

‘Ancient trees are precious. There is little else on Earth that plays host to such a rich community of life within a single living organism.’
Sir David Attenborough

For more information on the ecology of Ancient Trees, please visit the Ancient Tree Forum.

Fungi. Photo: Ted Green WTPL