Litter can affect plant population structure via both physical and chemical mechanisms, allowing or preventing different species to establish under different litter types. Baltzinger et al. investigate the pathways linking deciduous tree litter characteristics and the growth of Anemone nemorosa, a small perennial geophyte. They find that an observed increase in petiole length caused by accumulation of litter does not have a cost in terms of reduced rhizome growth, and that the presence of litter can increase leafing success via sheltering young shoots against frost damage.
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