Tree damage during the recent storms actually plays a positive role in forest ecosystems.
When a tree falls it creates new openings in the woodland, allowing more sunshine to reach the forest floor. In most cases the plants growing beneath the trees, or understory, responds quickly to openings in the forest canopy. More sunshine can now reach the forest floor, and plants that were growing in the shade take advantage of the bright sun to grow.
This new growth creates new habitats for animals and plays and important role in larger scale diversity. Plus, many of our forests such as oak-hickory woodlands require openings for the next generation of oak trees. Therefore, trees that topple during storm allow the same type of forest to exist for generations.