Underground Ecosystems

from MSNucleus.org  with 4th grade lesson plans.
Right below your toes is an invisible world!  Underground, worms tunnel, snails trail slime, millipedes move on their many legs.  Without detrivores like these, the cycle (and recycle) of life would get interrupted.  Worms and pill bugs eat dead leaves, their droppings returning nutrients to the soil.  Bess beetles, fungus, and others break down dead trees.  Ants utilize whatever comes their way, some unintentionally planting seeds and others purposely growing fungus to eat.  Insects and arthropods of many shapes, sizes, and specialties can be found in the detritus and soil below.  Show what you know by drawing a map of their habitat like the one below:

A great scavenger list when looking under logs and rocks can be found on pages 15-17 here.

From my art lesson book/grad thesis.

Decomposer Food Web cards here.  (Note, isopods have FOURTEEN legs, not 10 pair.)
Ant and Worm life-cycles here.

Soil food web/one square meter of soil here.

Interactive food web here!

Decomposer video here!

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