Autumn Leaves

October 25, 2001


Provided by: Martin Ruzek, USRA
Summary authors & editors: Martin Ruzek

The maples of New England provided this gaudy floor of recycled color. Deciduous trees shed their leaves each year, returning nutrients and carbon to the soil as well as mulching seedlings and protecting numerous smaller plants and animals that live in and under the decomposing leaf litter. The forest floor is an especially rich example of the carbon cycle in the Earth system.

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