An Interconnected Web

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;
  • litter;
  • soil;
  • air;
  • 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.

In this section of the site, you can learn how all the living elements work together. You’ll discover the importance of dead trees and the way the forest changes over time.

The winter is a quiet, but vital, part of the Sanctuary's cycle of lifeThe winter is a quiet, but vital, part of the Sanctuary's cycle of life