Bookmarked What Happens to a Tree When It Dies? (daily.jstor.org)

Decomposing trees on the forest floor become “dead wood”—a part of ecosystems that researchers are only beginning to understand.

Olivia Box discusses the place of dead wood in fostering new life.

When a tree dies naturally or falls due to extreme weather events, new life springs forward. Fungi communities flourish on dead wood, salamanders create breeding grounds, and saplings grow on the nutrient-rich bark. But this doesn’t happen overnight. According to researchers Harri Mäkinen, Jari Hynynen, Juha Siitonen, and Risto Sievänen, it can take up to 100 years or more for wood to decompose, depending on the species and forest type.

This reminds me about something I wrote in regards to the growth of trees as a metaphor for learning:

I think that in some respect learning is comparable with the growth of a tree. Too often we wonder why students are not straight and elegant, that they don’t learn in the prescribed manner. Too often we only recognise the trunk, when in fact many trees have numerous branches in order to help them prosper, some even without any discernible trunk at all. 

I never thought about the trees that died and what place that might serve in regards to the wider rewilding of education. I wonder what is lost in regards to fungi and nutrients when so much is prescribed? I think that this capture some of what Mike Crowley touches upon in his rethinking of the story of schools.

Liked The Predator That Makes Great White Sharks Flee in Fear (The Atlantic)

An orca, then, is an apex predator’s apex predator. No wonder sharks flee from them. But orcas don’t actually have to kill any great whites to drive them away. Their mere presence—and most likely their scent—is enough. Many predators have similar effects. Their sounds and smells create a “landscape of fear”—a simmering dread that changes the behavior and whereabouts of their prey. The presence of tiger sharks forces dugongs into deeper waters, where food is scarcer but cover is thicker. The mere sound of dogs can keep raccoons off a beach, changing the community of animals that lives in the tide pools.

Listened ‘A different dimension of loss’: inside the great insect die-off – podcast by Jacob Mikanowski;Andrew McGregor;Simon Barnard from the Guardian

Scientists have identified 2 million species of living things. No one knows how many more are out there, and tens of thousands may be vanishing before we have even had a chance to encounter them

Go here for a written version of this Guardian long read.