First-year master’s student Cari Ritzenthaler is crowdfunding for her research on Hawaiian invertebrates! Check out her page below for more information on the project and how to donate!
- Invertebrates drive forest floor carbon cycling by shredding, consuming, and moving leaf litter, thereby facilitating carbon use and emissions by other soil fauna such as microbes.
- This leaf litter processing, or decomposition, especially in tropical forests, is a substantial, natural source of carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, a driving force of global climate change.
- While climate and macronutrients (those available in relatively large quantities, e.g., carbon) are the usual suspects, preliminary findings suggest that the less well studied micronutrients (trace elements, or those available in relatively small quantities, e.g., calcium) may be driving forest floor invertebrate communities and activity.
- Because they are derived from volcanic activities, Hawaiian forest soils are uniquely variable, and often limited, in nutrients.