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Soil Temperature

Introduction

Soil temperature affects climate, plant growth, the timing of budburst or leaf fall, the decomposition rate of organic material, and other biological, chemical, and physical processes that take place in the soil.

How do flowers and other plants know when to start growing in the spring? How do farmers know when it is safe to plant their crops? Soil temperature plays an important role in both of these decisions. Each spring, soil is heated from above by warmer air and by solar radiation. Once the soil reaches a certain temperature, it is time to plant and grow.

Objectives

In the Preliminary Activity, you will gain experience using a Temperature Probe and learn soil temperature measuring technique as you determine the temperature of a soil sample.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about soil temperature and factors that affect it before you choose and investigate a researchable question dealing with soil temperature.

Sensors and Equipment

This investigation features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry »

Investigation 8 from Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry Lab Book

<em>Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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