Procedures

To conduct our testing, we created this list of Step-by-Step procedures. In total, we went outside for collection four separate days, collecting 20 soil texture samples overall.

  1. Select 3 locations that differ in clay soil percentages. Two locations should have a high clay soil percentage and one should have a low. The low percentage Microclimate will serve as the negative control. 
  2. Within the 3 locations, select 5 separate plot to test soil texture and worm populations. The 2 high clay percentage Microclimates should have 2 testing locations each and the low clay percentage Microclimate should have 1 testing location.
  3. At each location, place down 50cm x 50cm square frame on soil.
  4. Search leaf litter inside of the 50cm x 50cm square frame for worms, removing them when found. Record data.
  5. Place a 10cm diameter x 15 cm cylinder in the center of the 50cm x 50cm square frame and hammer into soil, clearing any obstructing roots with trowel.
  6. Remove 10cm diameter x 15 cm cylinder from ground and extract soil from center. Place extracted soil into large tub to sort for worms. Record data.
  7. After all worms have been counted and removed from extracted soil in large tub, fill 5.5cm diameter x 7cm tall plastic jar (with lid) halfway with extracted soil. Label jar according to location. Screw the lid onto the jar.
  8. Replace remaining extracted soil back to initial location and remove the 50cm x 50cm frame.
  9. Repeat steps 1-8 four more times in the remaining locations. All sampling should be done all within the same day.
  10. Fill collected soil texture jar ¾ of the way with tap water.
  11. Use pipette to add approximately 1mL of soil texture (phosphate detergent) solution to soil texture jar.
  12. Seal jar and shake for 1 minute.
  13. Place jar aside and do not move for 24 hours.
  14. Repeat steps 8-11 with each soil texture jar respectively.
  15. After 24 hours, record observed soil texture results.
  16. Repeat steps 1-15 three more times, for a total of four trials, conducted once a day.