Litter Bugs

This project examines how the depth and quality of the leaf litter in parks and other forest characteristics affect the number of mice, the number of ticks, and the role that leaves and plants play in the spread of Lyme disease.

Project lead: Daniel Mathisson, MA Candidate.

One of the many differences between forests and backyards is that no one rakes the leaves in the forest, leaving them to slowly decompose on the forest floor.  There they form the soft carpet known as “leaf litter”, which adds nutrients to the soil, protects new seedlings, and creates hiding places for small animals. This study will examine how the depth and quality of the leaf litter and other forest characteristics affect the number of mice, the number of ticks, and the role that leaves and plants play in the spread of Lyme disease.