Because the environment plays a crucial role in the decomposition rates of leaves. For instance if some lesves are in a more nitrogen enriched environment, therefore more nitrogen rich, you will find that these leaves will decompose much faster. This is because the nitrogen enrichment accelerates microbial processes.
Similarly, because decomposition is primarily carried out by fungi and bacteria, temperature and moisture play a big role in these rates. Generally the warmer the climate the faster the rate of decomposition. However moisture is a bit more complicated. If too dry the fungi and bacteria governing this process will dry out. But if too wet, anaerobic conditions begin to play out and unfortunately anaerobic decomposition is not very efficient.
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