In-water fallen trees are invertebrate biodiversity hotspots:
◦ Insects use this wood for cover and feeding.
◦ Some insects and other inverts eat saturated wood tissue, funneling woody biomass into the food chain.
◦ Wet deadwood provides invert egg-laying sites.
◦ Woody debris intercepts drifting egg masses and drifting inverts, providing attachment sites and refuge.
◦ New invert colonies form on downed lake-wood.
◦ In turn, inverts are eaten by tons of other animals.
56 invert species are closely associated with aquatic woody debris in Washington State and Oregon and another 129 species are discretionary users (Dudley and Anderson 1982).
Woody debris also:
◦ Provides refuge for other creatures including birds, fish, amphibians and etc. during both juvenile and adult stages.
◦ Provides growth substrates for plants, lichen, fungi etc.
In-water wood quantities are dramatically lower than previous levels and will take a relatively long time to recover:
◦ Riparian and buffer tree numbers are much lower than before, limiting stock for new wood deposition.
◦ Logging and other capitalist landscape practices have occurred over a greater geographical extent than urbanization, impacting more of the total landscape.
◦ Tree production is slow in comparison to herbaceous veg or shrub growth, although small woody debris also provides eco-benefits.
◦ With "restoration", recovery would take longer than other beneficial wet habitat components such as overhanging vegetation, thick root mats or dense macrophyte beds; particularly when viewed at a regional scale.
◦ Moving and installing large wood is often expensive in comparison to planting and such.
In summary, whenever possible, leave shorewood in place and allow new wood to be "naturally" recruited🙂
It's a huge benefit for biodiversity.
Lakeshore woody debris joins the waters' edge in at least four ways:
◦ Shifting/unstable shoreline banks.
◦ Delivered by upstream rivers and positioned by a combination of lake currents and lake fetch.
◦ Less dramatic death and decay of shoreline trees.