The Kid Should See This

What’s living inside this 12-year-old sealed terrarium?

In this video we take a look at the terrarium my brother made during his childhood. This terrarium was made between 2007 – 2008. This makes the terrarium at least 12 years old.

Two worlds coexist in this sealed ecosystem: Above, isopods live on rocky terrain with plants and a small lurking predator species: Centipedes. Below, algae, moss, and fungi thrive, providing a home for springtails, nematodes, and other invertebrates. This Jartopia video observes these lifeforms and reflects on how they have survived for generations within the closed ecosystem.

12-year-old terrarium

Originally this terrarium was home to a lot more plant and isopod species, however as the years went by biodiversity was lost as the new ecosystem balanced out.

Currently the ecosystem is experiencing cycles. As the plant population increased, so did the isopods. This caused the isopod population to graze on a lot of the terrariums plants, causing the plant population to decrease. I imagine centipede populations may increase in future giving the plants the opportunity to recover.

green growth
woodlice
Related DIY activities on Instructables: The Basics of Closed Jar Terrariums and Light Bulb Terrarium.

Plus: Bottle Biology and Making an Eco Column [pdf], and from Education.com: Build a Terrarium and Backyard Biosphere activities.

Watch these related videos next:
• The Pond On My Window Sill, a DIY ecosphere experiment
Seacosphere: One year inside an airtight jar of seawater
Why is biodiversity so important?
Home Sweet Habitat & Food Webs
• Feedback Loops: How Nature Gets Its Rhythms

via Boing Boing.

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