The Rainforest Recycles Itself
The rainforest recycles its nutrients, and nothing is wasted. What one species discard, others quickly find how to use. There are many examples of this synergy, but today I want to show you something that caught my attention while hiking.
When a tree dies, it becomes a source of life and nourishment for many other new organisms.
Once the log falls to the forest floor, it quickly gets covered with moss and fungi, and they begin to do their job by decomposing it. In this process, they soften the tough fibers of the wood and allow other organisms to penetrate and help in its breakdown.
This soft, moist trunk is so rich in nutrients that it is ideal for the seeds to start growing.
The seedlings turn into small trees and take full advantage of the nutrients stored by the old tree.
Soon the young trees start to grow and get thicker and taller.
Regardless of the biology involved in this process, I love seeing the beauty of this relationship. It is quite inspiring to follow each of their different stages.
As the tree grows, its roots develop, enfold, and embrace the old trunk.
Once the new tree has extracted the nutrients and is big enough to find the forest floor, it reaches down and fixes itself to the ground.
I was never aware of this relationship before, but now I can see this fantastic cycle of death and life.
The new trees sprout and grow from the seeds and the nutrients, strength, and protection of the old ones.