An ecosystem is a community of interdependent living things – plants, animals and tiny micro-organisms – together with the community’s physical and non-living chemical (abiotic) environment.
The interconnected web of the Sanctuary’s forest ecosystem includes:
- large live trees;
- standing dead trees (snags);
- understorey: small trees, shrubs, bushes and herbs;
- downed logs;
- the forest floor;
- water in the soil (groundwater); and
- surface water (Whitemud Creek and the oxbow pond).
In the ravine area of Whitemud Creek there are deciduous, coniferous and mixed-wood tree communities. Combined they create a dynamic forest ecosystem that serves as habitat for a wide variety of plants and wildlife. Larch’s forest ecosystem is also a human habitat: a spiritual resource that provides solace from our busy, urban way of life.