Multimedia Gallery - Soil Rotifers


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ID # 64

Soil Rotifers
This short video shows images and movement of soil rotifers at 40 to 1000X 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
Rotifers are small multicellular fauna in soil that live in water films and water-filled pores. They are 0.05 to 3 mm in size. Many in soil are worm-like rotifers that creep along until they want to feed. They then anchor themselves with a foot and feed by means of a mouth lined with cilia. The cilia whorl in unison (many species) creating the appearance of wheels or twin propellers, which create a vortex that sweeps food particles into their mouths. The name rotifer comes from Latin, which means ‘wheel bearer.’ They eat mainly organic debris, unicellular algae, and bacteria. Although found in most soils, their importance in the soil food web is little known. When the soil dries up, they can transition into resting stages and wait for moisture to return.

Method
Organisms were grown on cornmeal extract agar using the procedures found in Loynachan (2006). Magnification of images are at 40 to 1000X.

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

Provided By: Dr. Thomas E. Loynachan


Author(s)/Creator(s)

  • * Tom Loynachan
    Iowa State University

Submitted By: Dr. Thomas E. Loynachan


Keywords

  • microorganisms
  • wheel bearers
  • soil life
  • food chain
  • small fauna

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