Tea bags in the soil - results from a Citizen Science Award project published

10. May 2024 Sparkling ScienceCitizen Science
Teetasse mit Teebeutel
A team of researchers has published the first results of a global study, the Tea Bag Index Initiative.

It also includes data from the Citizen Science Award 2016, which was collected by the co-researching students and other citizen scientists during the co-research period.

In the AGES ‘Tea Bag Index’ project, citizen scientists buried tea bags in the ground, dug them up again after three months and weighed them. The weight loss indicates how much plant material - in this case tea - has been decomposed. This simple and inexpensive method for determining decomposition rates provides valuable information on the release or storage of CO2 in the soil. An analysis has now been published that summarises data from around 36,000 tea bags around the world. The contributions from the Citizen Science Award provided valuable results.

The article ‘Reading tea leaves worldwide: Decoupled drivers of initial litter decomposition mass-loss rate and stabilization’ is available online with an open access licence.

The co-research period for the Citizen Science Award 2024 runs until 31 July. To the projects