Litter

Litter is the overarching term that describes all kinds of dead organic material.

The understorey, a forest layer with an underestimated importance for ecosystem functioning

The major forest types in Europe, from the Boreal to the Mediterranean region, all include a variable number of native vascular plant species in the understorey layer (1.3 m height), both herbaceous and woody. In spite of its small stature and biomass this layer can contain 90% or more of the plant species of the forest. The functional role of the understory vegetation has already been shown in previous studies on temperate forests. They can serve as: ...

Earthworms - engineers with important role for forest ecosystems

Earthworms play a major role in the conversion of organic matter into humus, thus improving soil fertility in many soils. In addition to dead organic matter, the earthworm also ingests any other small soil particles which make minerals and plant nutrients accessible for plants to use. The earthworm's burrowing creates a multitude of channels through the soil and is of great value in maintaining the soil structure, enabling processes of aeration and drainage. Therefore earthworms are ecosystems engineers which have an important role for forest ecosystems. ...
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