Animals are important! They are part of a community of life. A meadow is an example of a community. The elderberry, grasshopper and frog are (in)directly dependent on each other within the area. A collection of different living communities is called an ecosystem. Like a forest and heathland.
Animals are an important part of our fieldwork programs. We study, determine and establish relationships between fauna (biotic) and abiotic factors in an area. Even the littlest ones are studied at Natuurkampen: benthic animals.
Benthic animals can be found just above the ground and in the benthic zone (the layer below the ground where organisms still exist). They are important for keeping the soil healthy. Soil animals mixed the earth by moving in the soil and fed on dead plant and animal remains.
Benthic animal research is discussed during field work days. We discuss the different techniques for searching, catching and identifying benthic animals. Then the students do their own research. An investigation that took place earlier this year was: the biodiversity in benthic animals and the moisture of the soil. Very interesting!
The benthic animal days are currently taking place to introduce young and old to the benthic life! Activities and workshops are taking place throughout the Netherlands and you can download teaching materials online. You can also participate in the benthic animal count, where you note down the observed animals. This provides a better picture of the benthic animals present in NL. All information can be found on the website of the bodemdierendagen.