Disappearance of Plant Material Under a Winter Snow Cover
Disappearance of plant material from fine—mesh nylon bags occurred during the late fall, winter, or early spring when mountain ranges in central Utah are generally snow covered. Quantitative loss of matter from leaves and stems of two grasses and two broad—leaved forbs was mostly attributed to decomposition by fungi and bacteria and to leaching. Loss of material from bags in direct contact with the snow cover during two consecutive winter periods averaged 30% for the relatively coarse Agropyron trachycaulum, 39% for Bromus inermis, 48% for Lupinus alpestris, and 51% for Mertensia arizonica var, leonardi. The ratio of leaf to stem weights decreased with all aspects.
Bleak, A.T. (1970). Disappearance of plant materials under a winter snow cover. Ecology, 51(5): 915-917.