Where on Earth are the Worms?


Picture of worms extracted from the field.

“Careful! Watch out for lightning.” These were that last words you got from your teacher before you went outside to do your experiment. You want to find out if worms are most commonly found in a hardwoods forest or a patch of lawn on a field on the WCC campus, but guess what? It starts to rain. You know from prior knowledge that worms like moist soil but, like you were supposed to, you do the experiment anyway. The problem is that the rain was only spread on to the field and not the area where you were in the hardwoods. The different areas can have different events affect their worm quantity.


This same event happened to my group when we were doing our project. I believe that it affected my group’s result and I wanted to look at our results and see if the rain caused our experiment to have different results. When we first started to learn about this topic of worms I was very intrigued. After we dove into this topic we did an experiment in the hardwoods forest on the campus of WCC. We did a mustard extraction method to see what the density of earthworms in the hardwoods on the WCC campus. After we did this experiment we looked at a site called the Great Lakes Worm Watch that explained many different things about worms. There I read more about the mustard extraction method. For this method the website explained,”In this method you pour a solution of mustard water on the soil allowing it to percolate down. The mustard solution irritates the skin of earthworms and they come to the surface to avoid it, where they can be collected, preserved and identified.” Then, later we did another experiment similar to the first, but this experiment had two areas and we were comparing the different amounts of worms in each of the areas.  

Worm Graph 

When I did my experiment I noticed that rain possibly changed the results that I got for my experiment. I did my experiment in two locations: in the hardwoods near the pond closest to the GM parking lot and in a field near the GM parking lot. The graph above shows the results that I got from my groups experiment.  The average amount of worms in the hardwoods was 17 worms per meter², and the field had an average of 39 worms per meter². I noticed that the field contained more worms than the hardwoods did. I believe that this is because of the rain that the field received. The rain caused the soil to become more moist but not if the soil is soaked or the worms would have been drowned out of the soil. The worms enjoy the moist soil because it doesn’t dry their skin.

Works Cited

“Great Lakes Worm Watch.” Great Lakes Worm Watch. University of Minnesota Duluth, 2011. Web. 25 June 2016. <http://www.nrri.umn.edu/worms/&gt;.