Decomposition sequence in the forest environment of the pacific northwest
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Soft-tissue decomposition is an important part of forensic investigation, because it helps establish time since death. Decomposition processes are influenced by a variety of factors, which vary with environmental context. It is important, therefore, to examine decomposition processes in ecologically distinct regions. Previous studies have been conducted in the Southwest, Texas, Tennessee, Canada and Europe, but none so far in the forested environment of the American Pacific Northwest. The goal of this study was to establish a soft-tissue decomposition baseline for the Pacific Northwest summer regional climate. This study documented physical processes of decomposition as well as environmental factors, specifically with respect to ambient temperature. Results exhibited a high degree of correlation with data from other entomological studies conducted in the region. Specific events were discussed in reference to the unique environmental conditions of the Pacific Northwest and their effect on the pattem and rate of the postmortem soft-tissue decomposition processes.
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