Observations and results
Did the leaf litter found in an area with lots of human interference have a lower biodiversity?
In recent years, there has been a significant loss in biodiversity, caused primarily by human activity. Such biodiversity loss usually occurs on a large scale, and is due to habitat destruction, invasive species, overexploitation and climate change. In the areas with lots of human interference, human activity has contributed to a lower biodiversity. People might litter on the ground or simply step on animals. Other times, people may add chemical fertilizers and pesticides to the soil. These activities all contribute to a loss of biodiversity. A low biodiversity is unfavorable because these ecosystems take longer to recover from environmental changes.
On the other hand, the first sampling site with little human activity should have had a higher biodiversity level. A higher biodiversity level means that site has a more stable ecosystem. High biodiversity is also important because it supports many ecological processes. For instance, a high biodiversity of decomposers and small insects is important in regulating soil chemistry, recycling nutrients and providing fertile soils.
More to explore
Hope College Leaf Litter Arthropod Key from Hope College
Life in the Leaf Litter (pdf- English, pdf- Spanish) from the American Museum of Natural History
Scientists Spend 10 Years Watching Leaf Litter Decay for Clues to Climate Change from Scientific American
Spiders in Borneo: Spiders in leaf litter from Scientific American
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