Sorting litter at home and abroad

Since I finished volunteering on the BESS Earthworm Project I have been continuing to work in the Natural History Museum Soil Biodiversity Group sorting leaf litter samples on my day off. After the sieved leaf litter samples have spent three days in the Winkler bags the pots are removed and the alcohol containing the invertebrates (and …

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A day in the woods with the Soil Biodiversity Group

I recently took a day off volunteer on fieldwork with the Natural History Museum Soil Biodiversity Group – my first fieldwork with the group since the BESS Earthworm Project, and a nice change from the pollinator and plant surveys I have been doing as part of my work at Reading University. The project I assisted …

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Garden earthworm bothering part 2: identification

So how do you go about identifying an earthworm? Firstly in most cases your earthworm needs to be an adult, mature earthworms have a saddle (clitellum) which is part of the reproductive system – forming a cocoon which protects the earthworm’s eggs. Unfortunately only five of the earthworms collected from my garden survey were adults …

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Earthworms – the final chapter!

  With the soil analysis laboratory in York shortly closing for Christmas the race was on to complete enough samples in each field and county for the statistician on the project to work his magic. The result was an epic 400 mile round trip to finish off sampling fields in Leicestershire, Berkshire and Dorset. It …

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