Observations and results
Were some soils you tested more compacted than others? Did you find that the areas that received a lot of foot traffic were the more compacted? Were dry areas more compacted than moist areas? Did more compacted areas have fewer plants?
As soil is pressed down, such as by humans and other animals walking over it, it becomes compacted, or denser. This is why areas that receive a lot of foot traffic or areas that are driven over by vehicles are more susceptible to becoming compacted. When soil becomes too dense many organisms such as bugs, worms and some plants will be unable to live there. This is in part because it is harder for oxygen and water to penetrate into highly compacted soil. The lack of moisture can cause compacted soil to become dry, and you may have found that dry areas were denser than moist ones. What other qualities did you notice about soils that had different levels of compaction?
Clean the knitting needle with soap and water.
More to explore
Soil Compaction from Colorado State University
Recoverability and Vulnerability of Desert Ecosystems: Soil Compaction from the U.S. Geological Survey
Soil Compaction from Science Buddies
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