In order to find the most abundant microorganism on various mosses, each group will be assigned a different species of moss that will be collected from greenhouses on campus. The cushion of selected moss should be just a little smaller than the petri dish that will be used for the experiment. It may be helpful to remove any excess soil that may be present. The moss is then to be placed upside down in the petri dish, which is then filled with water. The moss may absorb all the water in the dish, so some water may need to be added. The moss should soak in the petri dish for at least a couple hours. When ready to be inspected, any excess water should be removed from the moss by gentle shaking.
After removing the moss, the petri dish of water is ready to observe. Place a black background underneath the dish and place the dish under a dissecting microscope with a magnification of x20. Lighting from the side of the petri dish will improve the visibility of microorganisms. Lastly, observe the diversity of microorganisms that came off of the moss.