There are more Springtails below the surface
Is the body long with distinct segments? (if 'yes' go to 2 If 'No' to 3).
2 Is the first thoracic segment visible?. If yes..
Poduromorpha - include snow flea often found on water.
Here is a
snow flea moving around to the refrains of Tom Waits singing its praises..
Springtails are getting paler, like Onychurids.. From Fundamental of Soil Ecology Coleman, Crossley & Hendrix
Onychurids & Microbial Fungi - see 'bees of the soil'
Soil invertebrates influence microbial populations, and hence indirectly affect total metabolism, by :
* Regulating fungal growth (Warnock et al., 1982; Ulber, 1983; Gochenaur, 1987),
* Disseminating fungal and bacterial propagules into new substrates (Visser et al., 1981) or
* Reactivating senescent microbial colonies (Hanlon, 1981).
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The role soil animals play in relation to microbes is important when considering Global Warming, as soil animals play a vital role keeping microbes down, thereby controlling carbon release from soil. See Soil Animals and Global Warming.
Folsomia. F.candida are currently used in laboratory tests for the early detection of soil pollution.Acute and chronic toxicity tests have been performed by researchers, mostly using the parthenogenetic isotomid Folsomia candida.[look at source]
Jumping behaviour of F.candida indicates metal contamination on soil
ISO Standard for evaluating toxicity to F.candida in lab conditions, as way to determine soil quality
Plant material, mainly from moss, bracken, pine needles and bark is consumed by enchytraeid and lumbricid worms, sciarid larvae (young fungus gnats) and phthiracarid mites (primitive oribatids). Fungal material (+ or - plant material) is ingested by all groups, like camisiid and oppiid mites,some species of Collembola, sciarid and chironomid larvae
Some research involved examining the guts of various soil animals, (can you imagine that job?) so we know more about their eating habits. More on soil animals diets. They found:
"Plant material, mainly from moss, bracken, pine needles and bark, was extensively consumed by enchytraeid and lumbricid worms, sciarid (Fungas gnats) larvae and phthiracarid (sort of Oribatid) mites. Fungal material was ingested by all groups, either in combination with plant material or alone (camisiid and oppiid mites, some species of Collembola, sciarid and chironomid larvae) (adult flies for fishing). Isotomid springtails and chironomid larvae apppear to consume faecal material" Like this oribatid poo in a pine needle..