Park Natural History
Early stages in development of old-growth forest in our region
For decades after initial colonization following a natural disturbance, the density of trees may be very high, with intense competition among trees. As the trees put on foliage, the high density results in a closed forest canopy, with little light reaching the forest floor, little vegetation on the forest floor, poor habitat for animals, and very low biological diversity overall. As the forest ages, it “self-thins” as a result of mortality from competition among trees for light, water, and nutrients.