mind boggler
'Life on a Forest Floor' diorama in the Hall of North Eastern Forests at the American Museum of Natural History. © AMNH
"Life on a Forest Floor" diorama in the Hall of North Eastern Forests at the American Museum of Natural History.
© AMNH

An acre of temperate woodland produces about two tons of leaves, twigs, insect frass (excrement), and other debris every year. This organic matter is called leaf litter. What lives in the litter? What is the relationship of these organisms to their forest-floor environment? What do you think happens to this debris as the seasons change and the years go by? Can you imagine what woodlands would look like if this leaf litter accumulated undisturbed, year after year?



These and other facts are available in "Life in the Leaf Litter," published by the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (http://research.amnh.org/biodiversity/center/publ/pubscbc.html).


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