The Soil Food Web: a complex living system of organisms in the soil and their interactions with each other, the environment, plants and animals

THEME: Nature’s Design: Systems, Cycles, Patterns, Relationships, and Adaptations in the Garden System

Key Concepts

Compare and contrast soils rich with fungus, bacteria, and invertebrates (FBI) with soils that are not.

Identify the abiotic components in soil that support the soil food web (i.e. carbon, water, air).

Recognize that the health of the soil food web impacts the health of the soil.

Healthy/vital soils = healthy/vital foods = healthy vital bodies


Design a side-by-side experiment using at least two beds with different kinds of amendment. ( no compost or compost) . Observe and record data from control and treatment beds. Interpret the data and present results.

Design an experiment using three distinct parts of the garden (compost, path, bed).

Lay a transect line, randomly sample along the transect lines using a quadrat. Observe and record quantitative and qualitative data such as plant and insect diversity within each quadrat. Analyze and interpret the data. Present findings using graphs, illustrations and oral arguments.