Chasing isopods in CT
-- Rob Buchkowski PhD Student
This was the first summer of my PhD, and it spent a lot of time exploring some of the animals that make up the detritus-based food chain in our old-fields at Yale-Myers forest. The detritus-based food chain includes all the animals that can trace their food back to decaying material like plant and animal litter. Some common examples of species include earthworms, crickets, millipedes, and woodlice.
One of the most common species is Trachelipus rathkii, which is a species of isopod or woodlouse. Isopods are actually crustaceans, but are able to survive on land because they have adapted morphologically and behaviorally to conserve water. You can identify T. rathkii from the other species in New England quite easily, because it has 5 pairs of lungs on the underside that are quite easy to see. These lungs are used to breath, but area totally different from human lungs. Other isopod species in New England have 2 visible pairs.
I also spent some time looking for another group of detritivores—earthworms! We all know that earthworms are really important in promoting soil nutrient cycling, but I am interested in how there impact on soils might influence plant and animal communities aboveground. I started off this summer by trying to figure out how many earthworms live in our old-fields. To do this, I searched through about 230,000 cm3 of soil to get a reliable estimate of population size. I found that our fields vary from having 125 – 275 m2. This is a lot of earthworms, but not unexpectedly high. This fall, I am hoping to identify the species of earthworms, and work on some more efficient methods for extracting them.
Finally, I spent some time looking at the predators of these detritus eating species. One common predator is wolf spiders. Wolf spiders eat crickets, isopods, and a number of other soil animals. They also eat insects that feed on plants. Check out this video of a wolf spider eating an isopod!
8/25/2016 02:01:36 am
10/18/2016 01:11:20 am
Thanks for this amazing post, right to the point.
6/24/2022 07:00:20 am
Awesome content about the food chain of animals and species includes earthworms, crickets, millipedes, and woodlice.
1/16/2023 01:05:16 pm
Thanks, that was a really cool read!
2/4/2023 03:02:42 am
Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place..
2/18/2023 10:12:19 pm
This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work
2/19/2023 09:58:34 am
Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article. Thank you so much.
2/21/2023 01:32:12 pm
Some truly wonderful work on behalf of the owner of this internet site , perfectly great articles .
2/27/2023 05:47:27 am
I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
2/28/2023 08:58:19 am
My younger brother was irritated all the time because of this same issue but after I consulted them for him, he feels a lot better and believe me every single issue is solved!
3/1/2023 03:31:01 am
I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.Thanks.
3/1/2023 06:00:30 am
Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!
3/7/2023 06:13:35 am
Im no expert, but I believe you just made an excellent point. You certainly fully understand what youre speaking about, and I can truly get behind that.
3/12/2023 09:36:50 am
I know your expertise on this. I must say we should have an online discussion on this. Writing only comments will close the discussion straight away! And will restrict the benefits from this information.
3/17/2023 03:30:44 am
Hello, I have browsed most of your posts. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject.
3/19/2023 03:00:47 pm
This site has supported me a lot to gain awareness in every way about my recent task! Now I have the best idea to how to deal problems! Thanks to them!
Leave a Reply.