They say hindsight is 20/20 and while collecting our data, we came across some issues that would have been a lot easier to solve had we thought of these solutions. We have included some helpful suggestions below so if you so choose to replicate this experiment, you will know what we wish we had sooner.
- Our number one suggestion for performing this experiment is to bring an arthropod square. Originally we had planned to only use a soil core cylinder, but when we started working with the cylinder there were no worms.
- The pipe frame squares will give you a precise area to dig out and avoid possible imperfections.
- Bring a trowel when digging to cut away roots blocking the cylinder from going deep into the soil.
- To stabilize the soil core cylinder before hammering it into the ground, try twisting the cylinder from side to side until it cannot be easily knocked over.
- To avoid confusion and miscounting worms when sorting through the worms in the leaf litter/soil core, place the worms that were already identified into an empty soil texture jar. *Make sure to remove the worms before taking your soil sample*
- When putting the soil texture into the jar, take the jar and scoop from your large tub after the soil has been sorted.
- Bring a large stick to wave around in the air and knock down pesky spiderwebs.
- Clean trowel after every day to prevent rusting.
- Continually use one pipette to transfer soil texture solution and wipe off after each use.
- Label each soil texture jar before collecting soil to keep track of which locations have been visited that day.
- Place flags in each location where soil core textures were taken so that you do not re-take samples from the same spot.
- Wear gloves, apply bug spray, bring (long) clothes, boots, and raincoats that you don’t mind being trashed. Hats are optional.
Hopefully, this information will be useful to those recreating this experiment!.