Now that we’ve collected soil samples, we need to extract and identify the organisms living in the soil. We also need to measure the chemistry of the soil to understand the organisms’ habitat. For the past few days, we’ve been working quite a lot in the lab.
From another portion of soil, we extract the nematodes that live in the water around the soil particles. This is done by wrapping the soil in a tissue and placing it on a rack that’s submerged in water. The nematodes float out of the soil into the water, then drop to the bottom of the dish. We’ll collect the nematodes from the bottom of the dish and look at them under a microscope to identify them. Other animals also live in the water around soil particles, such as Tardigrades and rotifers, which we may find in these samples.
mites and springtails in these samples.