Alternate Athropod & Earthworm Protocol

 

1. Place a 1/2 meter x 1/2 meter grid on the soil you wish to survey.

2. Carefully remove any plant material or leaf litter from within the grid and sort through it by hand, identifying and recording any arthropods found in this material (a good dichotomous key is available from the American Museum of Natural History).

3. Next, use hand trowels to remove the soil inside the grid to a depth of 15 cm. and place the soil into a tub for sorting.

4. Remove handfuls of the soil from the tub and sort by hand, identifying and recording any arthropods found and keeping a running tally of how many earthworms are found.

5. Once all of the soil has been sorted, replace the soil back into the grid and redistribute any leaf litter.

6. To estimate the number of earthworms and each category of arthropods per square meter, multiply all final values by 4.