Measuring abiotic factors

Light intensity

Light meters can be used to measure light intensity. The meter is held at the soil surface and pointed in the direction of the maximum light intensity and the meter is read.

Errors can be made when measuring light intensity by accidentally shading the light meter. The reliability of the results can be checked by taking many readings and obtaining an average.

Measuring the pH and moisture of the soil

Soil pH meter showing a pH of 7.5.

Soil moisture and soil pH meters are used by simply pushing the probe into the soil and reading the meter.

Errors can be made when measuring abiotic factors when the soil moisture or pH meter probes are not cleaned between readings. The reliability of the results can be checked by taking many readings and obtaining an average.

Measuring temperature

The temperature of the air can be measured with a thermometer.

The temperature of the soil can be measured with a temperature probe.