News FocusEcology

Defending Deadwood

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Science  31 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5535, pp. 1579-1581
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5535.1579

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Decaying trees turn out to play crucial roles on both land and sea, starting chains of biotic interactions and providing oases of nutrients in the ocean's abyssal plains; removal of dead trees may threaten ecosystems. Recognizing the value in this once-overlooked habitat, scientists have stepped up their scrutiny, sponsoring deadwood conferences and Internet sites.