Nature Blog Network

rotting tree stump

There is a tree stump at the south east corner of the lane which is rotting down nicely, with lots of insect holes but no moss, fungi or lichen. Thought to be an oak, due to the persistence of the medullary rays which run perpendicular to the growth rings and aid in the distribution of nutrients throughout the trunk. In oak, these are much harder than the surrounding wood and tend to rot at a slower rate, leading to distinct ridges in the rotting trunk.

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A gentle poke with a stick shows that it disintegrates easily, with much scurrying of small insects. This wood louse (prob the common rough woodlouse, Porcellio scaber) was the only one still long enough to photograph!

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