What happens when a tree falls in the forest?... a lot.
Contributing greatly to forest ecosystems, fallen and dead trees are habitat to thousands of animal species as well as countless microorganisms and plants. While there is importance to managing the amount of dead material in a forest (to ward off wildfire potential), clearing all of it away would have serious effects.Find great information and a very interesting public artwork about the subject here:
This website put together by the US Forest Service talks about the benefits of fallen logs in the forest and even has a number of great activities (here and here) for families and kids to do to learn about all an old tree has to offer. This wonderful work by the artist Mark Dion (great interview about the piece here) showcases how beautiful, diverse, complex and irreplaceable the natural systems of a forest are.