Student Research - No Lazy Leaves Here!
Leaves Work Hard To...
...provide food for other living things.
Insects, especially, chomp on leaves for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
These Texas insects love eating and/or living on leaves:
- Fall webworms like munching on pecan trees.
- Evergreen bagworms live on and dine on loblolly needles (which are really leaves in disguise!).
- Aphids suck juices from leaves.
- Grasshoppers from one leaf to another eating, well, what else? Grass and leaves!
- Crickets especially like to hang out underneath piles of decaying (rotting) leaves.
- Walkingsticks chow down on lots of different things, including leaves.
- Black webspinner flies eats their leaves dead.
- Broadwing katy did like the leaves at the tippy tops of the trees the best.
- Loblolly pine sawflies chew up evergreen loblolly leaves.
Leaves give off oxygen. That gives us and other living things oxygen to inhale.
...clean the air.
Leaves absorb carbon dioxide, which is what people, animals, and cars exhale. It’s bad to have too much carbon dioxide in the air. Plants get rid of some of it for us.
...help plants grow.
Leaves produce sugar that with nutrients from the soil, feeds the plant and helps it grow.
...make new soil.
When leaves fall they decompose into tiny pieces. These pieces add stuff to the dirt that makes plants grow better.
Composting is a way you can help the leaves make new soil. Check out this cool slide show: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/kindergarden/kidscompost/kid1.html
Are You Ready for the Challenge?
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