Earthworms Lab

524 Words 3 Pages
Introduction:
As the world population increases continually, limited amounts of food sources will become a more pressing matter. Agriculture will become more important as a result of the increase in population. The quality of soil is of paramount importance when it comes to planting crops. A major factor attributed to soil quality is the presence of earthworms. Earthworms are very important in the world of agriculture and can help maximize crop yields.
In this study, the effects of earthworms on varying soil pHs and soil density were viewed. Earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) are very beneficial for the soil. They change the structure and composition of the soil, they alter water movement, alter the nutrients in soil, and help with plant growth.
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The reason why the buffers can resist change in pH is because a buffer is made up of a conjugate base and a conjugate acid which are always in equal proportions. Because of this, buffers can prevent sudden changes in pH. This is important because sudden changes in pH can denature important proteins such as amylase, which converts starch and glycogen into simple sugars. The proteins denature because the base or acid disrupts the disulfide bridges in the tertiary and/or the the quaternary structure. The sulfide bridge bonds are held together by ionic bonds between an negative acid group and a positive ammonium group.
Soil pH is generally determined by the composition of the soil, the organic matter that lays within the soil and the pH of the liquid solution that can be found in the soil (“Soils - Part 4: Soil PH”).
It was hypothesized that if earthworms are placed into a container of soil , then the pH of the soil will become increasingly neutral, the density of the soil will decrease, and the nutrient composition of the soil would change because the digestive tracts in the worm produce molecules are natural buffers, because worms aerate the soil, leaving pockets of air in the soil, which increase the volume of the soil, and the earthworms would excrete casts that contain high amounts of phosphorus, nitrogen and calcium (“Earthworms—Crops and

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