Multimedia Gallery - Soil Pot Worms


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ID # 60

Soil Pot Worms
This short video shows images and movement of soil pot worms at 40 to 500X magnification.

STEM Standard addressed: ESS2E - Biogeology


Appropriate Grade Level(s)
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
  • College-level
Materials are best used for
  • Classroom Lectures
  • Laboratory Activities
  • Distance Education Classes
General Course Areas
  • Environmental Science
  • Introduction to Soil Science
  • Soil Microbiology

Category: Biology & Biochemistry


Description
Soil pot worms are a common inhabitant of the soil environment. They are small, segmented worms usually 5 to 15-mm in length. Some mistake them for immature earthworms, which they resemble, but this is their full size. They move along existing channels in the soil and feed on plant litter; they help in the process of converting plant materials and organic debris in soil into humus. They normally are white in color and can develop into huge populations in organic-rich soils. They prefer moist, somewhat acid soils and do little harm to other soil or plant life. Scientifically, they are known as enchytraeids.

Method
Organisms were grown on cornmeal extract agar using the procedures found in Loynachan (2006). Magnification of images are at 40 to 500X.

References
Amador, J.A., and J.H. Gorres. 2005. Fauna. pp. 181-200. In: D.M. Sylvia et al. (ed.) Principles and Applications of Soil Microbiology (2nd ed), Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. Coleman, D.C., and D.H. Wall. 2015. Soil fauna: Occurrence, biodiversity, and roles in ecosystem function. pp. 111-149. In: E.A. Paul (ed.) Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry (4th ed), Elsevier, New York, NY. Loynachan, T.E. 2006. Quick, easy method to show living soil organisms to high school or beginning-level college students. J. Nat. Res Life Sci. Ed. 35:202-208. Nardi, J.B. 2003. The world beneath our feet. Oxford University Press, New York, N.Y.

Peer Review: Yes

Media Date: 2016-07-25
Provided By: Dr. Thomas E. Loynachan


Author(s)/Creator(s)

  • * Tom Loynachan
    Iowa State University

Submitted By: Dr. Thomas E. Loynachan


Keywords

  • microorganisms
  • white worms
  • segmented worms
  • soil life
  • food chain

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