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The Tullgren Funnel
The Tullgren Funnel is an apparatus which helps to remove living organisms from leaf litter. Leaf litter is placed in a filter funnel which is covered with black paper. The funnel is then held over a bottle containing a mixture of alcohol and water. There is a piece of gauze present to prevent soil entering the liquid. Once the leaf litter has been placed in the funnel, the apparatus is put under a strong light for at least two weeks. The soil dries out slowly and this encourages the living organisms to move downwards.
To extract small animals from a sample of leaf litter.
1. Set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram below.
2. Leave the apparatus in a light cupboard for at least two weeks.
3. After two weeks, pour the alcohol and water mixture into a dish and observe the mixture under a binocular microscope.
4. Identify any organisms you find.
5. Record the numbers of each of the different organisms which were present in the leaf litter.
Example: How to use the table
Write a conclusion to this experiment.
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