Animated Lessons

Carbon Cycle icon

Carbon Cycle

Lesson 1 : This lesson describes the terrestrial carbon cycle and why it is important, including an explanation of the Greenhouse Effect.

Leaf Anatomy icon

Leaf Anatomy

Lesson 2 : It is important to understand how plants decompose and are constructed. This video lesson describes the anatomy of leaves and why this is important for understanding decomposition.

Microbes icon


Lesson 3 : How does the process of decomposition work? This lesson describes how decomposition happens, and the role of microorganisms in this process.

Modeling Decomposition icon

Modeling decomposition

Lesson 4 : How are predictions about carbon cycling made? This lesson describes how mathematical models are built and used to calculate the effects of climate, litter chemistry, and microbial metabolism on leaf decomposition.

Arctic Carbon icon

Arctic Carbon

Lesson 5 : Where is the process of decomposition important? This lesson describes how decomposition and plant growth control the carbon balance of Arctic ecosystems, which are storehouses of soil carbon that are warming and changing rapidly.