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Life Beneath Your Feet (Soil Horizons)

Page history last edited by Ed Bianchi 9 years, 3 months ago

"The Forest Floor"

Click here to see the 2011 video


Did you ever think that plants and humans are alike?  All living things do need almost the same stuff.  Plants and humans need space, water, energy, air and time to grow.  The forest floor provides all of these things for plants.  Now here we go into the world of change in the life beneath your feet - the forest floor.


You should learn about the water cycle because all living things need water to survive.  Now I will teach you how the water cycle works. 


The water cycle is water evaporating, condensing and precipitating over and over again.  The water  evaporates into the clouds because of that big powerful star, the Sun, and then rains back down again helping the plants grow.  When plants grow it is a change on the forest floor.  The forest floor makes the forest, it is an important ecosystem.  Without a healthy forest floor all the beautiful trees that you usually pay attention to won't grow.  Without the forest we wouldn't have the habitat on Pease Mountain that the birds, chipmunks, rabbits, and porcupine need.


The forest floor is ginormous system, which is always changing.  There are two ways that things change - physical change and chemical change.  I will teach you the difference between physical and chemical changes in the forest floor.  I will tell you what decomposition is and how it changes the forest floor.


First things first, physical change is a change that can be reversed, like digging up some dirt. On Pease Mountain you can observe physical changes on the path.  Water comes down and moves soil; this is called erosion.  Chemical change is change that cannot be reversed, leaves falling off of trees.  The changes in temperature and sunlight, create a chemical message that tell the leaves to leave.  A chemical change on the forest floor is decomposition.  Decomposition is when something is broken down so much that it is recycled into the soil.  Fungi, bacteria, and other consumers like worms help make new substances out of organic materials like leaves, animal scat, and twigs and logs.  These are examples changes on the forest floor.


Now you have all you need about what living things need, physical and chemical changes, & decomposition on the forest floor.  Next time you are hiking on Pease Mountain bring a magnifying glass and see what's happening beneath your feet.  In the next section of this webpage you will learn about all the busyness in the soil.


Thank you for listening!


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 "Bugs And The Soil Food Web"


Do  you  want  to  learn  about  what  lives  in  the  soil?  In  this  paragraph  I  will  show  you  the  bugs  and  microscopic  animals that  live  in  the  ground.  I will also teach you about the food web in the leaf litter and topsoil.  I will tell you what keeps soil healthy.


Everything  starts  with  decaying  matter  because  it all helps to make soil.  Rotting logs, plants, and dead animals all end up as soil.  Fungi are mushrooms, a plant that helps to break down dead things.  Bugs help the soil a lot.  Here is how they help.  Earth worms dig tunnels and the tunnels help the water flow down into deeper layers of the soil.  Nematodes  are  microscopic  worms they  eat  bacteria  to  make  the  soil  healthy.  Arthropods  are  oddly  shaped  mites  that  eat  disease  causing  pests.  Protozoa  are  one  celled  creatures  that  eat  things  that  hurt  the  soil.  By  having  a  even  balance  of  each  bug  makes  the  soil  healthy.


Now  that  you  know  about  the  bugs  in  dirt  and  the  soil  food  web  you  can  look  in  your  back  yard  to  find  the  bugs  doing  their  job  in  the  ground.  Or you can look at my Kidspiration Food Web, it shows you the bugs and their food web.


Now  that  you  know  what  bugs live in the leaf litter and topsoil,  you  are  ready  to  learn  where  they  are  on  the  food  web.   




Comments (7)

Lori Racha Silverman said

at 11:25 pm on Dec 7, 2009

I think your comparing the needs of a tree to a human is really true (space, energy, water and time). Your video and diagram are both really well done. Congratulations!

sophier said

at 11:20 am on Dec 10, 2009

It is very cool to learn about .I love it!!111

moirab said

at 11:24 am on Dec 10, 2009

Awsome video!!!!!!!!!!!! Cool presentation too!

zaqu said

at 11:34 am on Dec 10, 2009

Cool video!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jerryb said

at 11:18 am on Dec 16, 2009

awesome video!

lexip said

at 7:43 pm on Dec 16, 2009

Nice girl, i like it!!!!!
I think you did a great job!!!!!

josief said

at 9:08 pm on Dec 16, 2009

I never know our projects were connected,and I'm not talking about the bugs.

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