In this lesson students will learn that after a tree dies, it passes through a number of well defined stages before it decays completely and becomes part of the soil. Each stage is identified by a micro community consisting of characteristic organisms. When the organisms in one stage use up their food supply or in other ways make their habitat unsuitable for them, other organisms succeed them. Thus, a succession of communities occurs in a rotten log in much the same way that a succession of communities occurs in a vacant lot, abandoned field or even in a residential area.
This investigation lends itself to group activity when more than one rotting log can be found