© BSP 2013 Some species of fungus are typical for old-growth forests.   In western Europe, where mature forests are rare, these species are mostly found on old trees besides roads. Beauty of the Beech (film) In beech forests, beauty and biodiversity come with old age - much unlike the relatively young beech forests of western Europe. This film shows the biodiversity of well-developed beech forests to give an insight of what we will get if beech forests are allowed to mature, collapse, and regenerate in a natural way. On dry soils of much of continental western Europe, beech forests are the climax vegetation, but there are very few places where climax beech forest can be enjoyed. The approach of the film is not an (almost) standard description of habitats and species, shown in the succession of the seasons. Instead, it depicts species in their functional roles within the ecosystem. The flow of energy and nutrients are the framework of the film. For example, leave development in spring is seamlessly linked to the inevitable falling of the leaves in autumn, the decomposer fungi, and the animals depending on those mushrooms for their survival. Thus, besides advocating forest reserves in which forests can fully mature, the film is especially designed to show the functioning of forest ecosystems in cohesion with the high biodiversity values that typify old-growth forests. If you would like to understand forests and their biodiversity, ‘Beauty of the Beech’ will do just that!          Producer: Arnold van den Burg