Results/Conclusions As expected, leaf litter chemistry did differ between juvenile and mature individuals. Mature leaf litter had significantly (p < 0.05) higher concentrations of calcium, copper, sulfur, and zinc. There was a marginally significant (p = 0.055) difference in sodium concentrations with mature leaf litter having more sodium. Juvenile leaf litter had significantly (p < 0.05) higher concentrations of boron, iron, magnesium, and manganese. Notably, many of these chemicals are cations and metals, which are often linked to changes in soil properties. However, there were no significant differences in field respiration rates or soil properties (moisture, organic matter, pH). Though there are notable differences in the leaf litter chemistry of juvenile and mature buckthorn shrubs, it is unclear how this may impact decomposition. Currently, we are following up this study by separating the effects of litter chemistry from soil properties using microcosms to measure respiration and mass loss of leaf litter from juvenile and mature shrubs. Understanding how decomposition changes with Rhamnus cathartica age will be crucial for predicting effects on forest communities and for improving management.