Insects that feed on the foliage of trees can influence the quality of forest soils by dropping frass (feces) and leaf fragments to the floor. They can also modify the chemistry of rainwater that passes through the forest canopy. The effects of herbivore activity on forest soil processes are poorly understood. Potentially, insects may change soil fertility and the rates of decomposition of leaves that have fallen to the ground. This literature review examines our present understanding of these top-down impacts of forest canopy herbivory on soil processes.
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