Invertebrate Biodiversity with Berlese Funnels | Carolina.com

Login or Register

800.334.5551 Live Chat (offline)

Invertebrate Biodiversity with Berlese Funnels

A Carolina Essentials™ Investigation

Overview

Understanding the relationships among biotic diversity and abiotic factors in an ecosystem can be a difficult task. Using soil invertebrates, students can identify both the number of species present in a soil sample and the number of individuals within a species. With some simple math, the density of invertebrates in a plot can be calculated. Students will construct a simple and inexpensive Berlese funnel to collect soil invertebrates and then identify them.

Save & Print
Teacher Notes
Save & Print
Student Worksheet
Grade & Discipline
6-12

Life Science, Earth and Space Science. Recommended for grades 6-12.

Time Requirements
Prep1 hr
Activity5 days

Teacher Prep time: 10 min
Funnel Construction: 20 min
Soil Collection and Testing: 30 min
Invertebrate Preservation: 4–5 days
Invertebrate Identification: 45 min

Safety Requirements
Careful with sharp objects.

Overview

Understanding the relationships among biotic diversity and abiotic factors in an ecosystem can be a difficult task. Using soil invertebrates, students can identify both the number of species present in a soil sample and the number of individuals within a species. With some simple math, the density of invertebrates in a plot can be calculated. Students will construct a simple and inexpensive Berlese funnel to collect soil invertebrates and then identify them.

Save & Print
Teacher Notes
Save & Print
Student Worksheet

Essential Question

How can the biodiversity and density of soil invertebrates be studied?

Investigation Objectives

  1. Construct a Berlese funnel.
  2. Collect and identify soil invertebrates.
  3. Calculate the density of soil invertebrates.

Next Generation Science Standards* (NGSS)

Science and Engineering Practices

Constructing Explanations

  • Students will collect invertebrate samples and explain the results based on abiotic soil factors.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LLS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics ESS2 Earth’s Systems

  • Students will understand the relationship between ecosystem biotic and abiotic factors.

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns

  • Students will establish patterns between soil invertebrate biodiversity and density and abiotic soil factors.

Safety & Disposal

Remind students to use scissors properly. Identify students who may have allergies to bug bites, insect stings, plants, or pollen. Take necessary precautions.

Return excess soil outside. Once invertebrates are identified, flush alcohol down the sink with water. Dispose of invertebrates in the trash.

Procedures

Berlese Funnel Construction

    1. Precut the screen into 20 cm × 20 cm pieces.
    2. Identify different locations outside that are suitable for invertebrate collection.

Student

Teacher

  1. Student: Using scissors, cut the bottom off the jug.
  1. Tape around the edge of the cut end.
  1. Make sure that the tape is folded over the cut edge of the milk jug.
  1. Place the milk jug spout in the mouth of the jar. The jug serves as the funnel. The jar is the collection chamber
  1. Bend the mesh screen so that it fits securely into the milk jug and forms a stable platform for the soil sample. Do not let the screen fall below the handle.
  1. Keep the cap on the jug until the soil is added to prevent any loose soil from entering the jar.
  1. At the assigned location, collect about a cup of soil and leaf litter (the top 1 cm).
  1. Place the top layer of soil into the funnel.
  1. Do not pack the soil into the funnel.
  1. Pour 2 cm of alcohol into the beaker or jar.
  1. Place the funnel on the jar. Tape a ruler or similar support to the handle of the funnel and to the side of the jar to ensure that the funnel remains steady.
  1. Remove the jug cap.
  1. Place the Berlese funnel under the incandescent lamp
  1. The incandescent bulb serves as a heat source.
  1. Adjust the lamp to direct the light onto the top of the sample from about 20 cm away.
  1. Let the Berlese funnel stay under the light for several days
  1. Identify the soil invertebrates that have fallen into the alcohol.
  1. There are many online invertebrate keys for students to use to ID animals

Data

Identify and record the type and number of invertebrates in the soil sample.
Typical invertebrates may include ants, mites, spiders, springtails, termites, and centipedes.

Analysis & Discussion

  1. Calculate invertebrate density.

    Density = total number of animals/area (50 cm × 50 cm)

  2. Compare group results and discuss differences in samples and locations.

    Answers will vary.

*Next Generation Science Standards® is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of, and do not endorse, these products.

Carolina Kits | 3D - Explore Kit Solutions for 3-Dimensional Learning. - Explore