- Students will be able to identify the microorganisms and insects involved in the composting process.
Teach the Teacher
Tools & Materials
- Compost samples
The critters that can be found in the Lab vary from one system to another. This would include the vermiculture system, soil biota, and various composting methods outdoors. They all play a role. Some are decomposers and others are predators. But like most systems, there is balance in their populations when the systems are running smoothly.
Understanding the participants in the various processes can serve as an “all’s well” signal or a sign of distress. The presence of some insects in the composting pile, for instance, could indicate that the system is out of balance or even moving towards an anaerobic state.
Expand the catalog of microorganisms and insects from Lesson 3.4 by adding a section for composting. Examine compost samples periodically to build out the catalog of soil food web participants. Be sure to add a section for the role that each microorganism or insect plays. Is it as a primary, secondary, or tertiary consumer in the process?
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