Summer on a Shoestring


Leaf Litter
July 2, 2012, 2:02 am
Filed under: Foliage, Litter Sorting

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Photo of dried leaf litter being weighed.

Leaves, the driving force of transpiration in trees, fall off each year so that trees can live through winter.   There is a larger leaf loss in the fall but some leaves are still lost in summer.  The shoestring crew placed leaf litter baskets in designated areas to collect the fallen leaves in the seasons of fall as well as summer.  Baskets are placed in four sub plots within a stand: the control plot, a plot treated with phosphorus, a plot treated with nitrogen, and a plot that contains both phosphorus and nitrogen. The leaves are collected once in the spring, summer and fall then dried in an oven at 60 degrees celsius for roughly 24 hours.  After weighing, non leaf matter is removed and the weight of the leaf litter is recorded.  The dried weight can be compared to data from previous years to see if the mass of the leaf harvest has changed.  The differentiation between plots will perhaps show the affect that the nitrogen, phosphorus or nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization has on trees.

~Kelsey Pangman

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