Ground-Layer Invertebrate Communities are More Strongly Influenced by Tree Canopy than by Understory Plant Composition
Weiher, Evan R.
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Ground-layer invertebrates (GLI) are an integral part of forest communities because of their ability to break down leaf litter. As key players in the process of nutrient cycling, they are essential to ecosystem functioning. Understanding how environmental conditions on the forest floor affect GDI will inform conservation efforts aimed at maintaining this critical component of forest ecosystems. Most leaf litter comes from the tree canopy, so we hypothesized that GDI composition would be influenced more by tree canopy composition than by other factors such as understory composition, soil moisture content, or percent soil organic matter.
Department of Biology