Each spring, I have the privilege of witnessing the miracle of new life as seeds that have buried themselves in the soil over the winter sprout roots, shed their papery coats, and stretch their bright green needles up toward the sun. My students and I spend weeks crawling across the forest floor – bellies, knees, and elbows scraping through the rich humus – as we identify, count, and measure hundreds of newly emerged conifer seedlings. Some of these seedlings will eventually grow into some of the largest trees in the world, but for now they stand scarcely two inches tall.
Copenhaver-Parry, Paige E., "What Forests Teach Us about Community" (2020). Faculty Publications - Department of Biology and Chemistry. 129.