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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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AFSRC Picture of the Week, August 27, 2007
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A plastic-strip with bait-filled holes

Understanding the effects of land-use on soil fertility, soil quality, and nutrient cycling requires detailed knowledge of the structural composition and functional strategies of the microinvertebrates that decompose organic matter within the soil ecosystem. AFSRC scientists are using a modified bait-lamina test, a plastic-strip with bait-filled holes that is inserted into the soil, for assessments of contamination on soil communities and provides a quantitative estimate of decomposition. This approach to a more exact quantitative measurement of litter consumption in bait-lamina strips should result in an improved and increased understanding of the role microfauna play in soil decomposition.

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Last Modified: 2/18/2010
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