Sometimes, as our visiting students hike through thick piles of leaves covering the trails, they ask—where do the leaves go after they fall? When all the leaves on lawns and sidewalks are raked and bagged up, it’s hard to notice that, out on our trails, large piles of leaves seem to be magically cleared away by the time spring rolls around. We also have rotting apples in the orchard, dead plants in the shrub layer, and molding squash in the garden, which all seem to vanish by the time the snow melts.  So how do we explain their disappearance? To investigate this mystery we peek into the fascinating world of […]

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