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Is There Life in a Decomposing Log?
Go Deeper: Additional Resources and Activities
Interactive Web Game
If you would like to learn more about forests and explore a virtual rotting log, visit the Zoo’s award-winning Conservation Central website to take: A Walk in the Forest: Forest Layers Walk
Books to Read
- Hunter, Anne. What’s Under the Log? Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1999.
- Pfeffer, Wendy. A Log’s Life. Simon & Schuster, New York, 1997.
- Green, Jen. A Dead Log. Crabtree Publishing Company, New York, 1999.
- Schreiber, Anne. Log Hotel. Scholastic, Inc. New York, 1994.
- Cole, Joanna. The Magic School Bus Meets the Rot Squad: A Book About Decomposition. Scholastic, Inc. New York, 1995.
- Brenner, Barbara. One Small Place in a Tree. HarperCollins Publishers, 2004.
Other Websites to Visit
- Monitoring woody debris: On this website are protocols for monitoring “downed woody debris,” developed by the Ontario, Canada, Forest Research Institute.
Additional Activity Idea: Logs in Different Habitats
Repeat the Outdoor Activity using a different habitat such as your backyard or a community park. Compare the data that are found—what are the similarities and differences between the habitats?
Additional Activity Idea: Write an Advertisement
You’re a log that needs to decompose. Write an advertisement to attract the species that you want to help you decompose. Include in your advertisement:
- Which class of decomposition you wish to achieve?
- Descriptive words that would attract species you hope will help you decompose.
- How many of each species you want to move to your habitat.
- What opportunities you can provide these species.
- A drawing your current size and what can be found around you.
- Drawing of the ideal consumers, producers, and decomposers you wish to attract.
Some guiding questions you should consider are: What could eat me? Dig its roots in me? Make a trail using my wood? Burrow in and make a home out of me? Are there any flying or crawling creatures that could live in me?