Dead wood is good wood

Skip to first unread message

kiran srivastava

Jun 26, 2009, 7:34:00 AM6/26/09

Whilst looking at the importance of snags and dead wood in Sanjay Gandhi National Park(SGNP) in Mumbai I wanted to know how important these were in our forests.

A good forest is where there are plenty of dead trees, scattered on the forest floor waiting to rot in a natural way. Dead wood is a natural and essential component of the forest ecosystem. A multitude of species specialized in feeding on dead wood, and the number of species eating these "dead wood eaters" is even greater. Those groups of coexisting organisms are dependant on a supply of dead wood.

Bacteria and fungi and live on the dead wood. Many species of insects feed on such bacteria and fungi. Those insects serve as a food for other insects, arachnids, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. In addition fungi which decompose dead wood are a host for other species of fungi which parasitize on them. The organic matter that was once a tree, passes through a chain of organisms and returns to the environment, where bacteria and fungi decompose it to simple chemical substances, that are again used to "build" new generations of trees.

The first bird species that I can think of is the woodpecker and several of them have a penchant for feeding on snags – I have seen the beautiful Heart-spotted Woodpecker looking for grubs, beetles, etc., on them. Hollow tree trunks can be homes for woodpeckers, bees, other insects, as well as rodents and small mammals.

I read that dead wood: (i) is a source of nitric compounds needed for growth of plants slowly released into the soil (ii) keeps carbon atoms which delays the release of carbon dioxide (iii) enriches the forest floor.


Snags are standing dead trees often with their top branches missing.

Meanwhile, look out for mushrooms and some bright and colourful fungi on trees and fallen tree trunks.


Kiran Srivastava



Madhuri Pejaver

Jun 26, 2009, 8:40:37 AM6/26/09
to,, kiran srivastava

The dead trees are also sead to be used by the birds for territory marking.
they can seat at the top of the trees, which being barran they get a better view and other birds can also see them

--- On Fri, 26/6/09, kiran srivastava <> wrote:
Cricket on your mind? Visit the ultimate cricket website. Enter

Dilip Pandit

Jun 26, 2009, 10:01:07 PM6/26/09
to, Indian Trees,
On a lighter note, I am reminded of politicians, long dead, on whose name and memory thousands of politicians of lesser hues survive and thrive. So like dead wood whose importance to micro-organisms cannot be gainsaid, long-dead politicians also help survive many lesser mortals. We all know who these eminent dead politicians are.

What system could we call this? On the analogy of forest ecosystem.


Dilip Pandit

Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 17:04:00 +0530

Subject: [indiantreepix:13817] Dead wood is good wood

Get easy photo sharing with Windows Live™ Photos. Drag n’ drop

Anand Kumar Bhatt

Jun 27, 2009, 5:20:59 AM6/27/09
to kiran srivastava,,
Hill myna of Bastar makes snags as their roost and nest. I am told that one of the reasons of the breed almost disappearing from Bastar forests is disappearance of snags from the forests. Man of course is the main reason who are fond of keeping them as pet birds as it is known as the best mimic bird in the world.
Anand Kumar Bhatt
A-59, B.S.F.Colony, Airport Road
Gwalior. 474 005.
Tele: 0751-247 2233. Mobile 0 94253 09780.
My blogsite is at:
And the photo site:
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages