Soil small-scale microcosms showed to be suitable for assessing the effects of Bt-toxins (crystal (Cry) proteins), copper and plant material containing Cry-proteins on the structure of nematode communities (Höss et al. 2014). The microcosms are 50-ml centrifuge tubes filled with approx. 30g of soil (see Fig. 1). In this small volume of soil, a sufficiently high number of nematodes is present to perform a statistically valid analysis of the community structure.
In a project funded by the "Deutschen Bundesstiftung Umwelt" (DBU; 2018-2021) this test system was validated. The microcosms showed to suitable for assess toxic effects of metals (Zn), PAHs (pyrene) and pesticides (fludioxonil, mancozeb) on native nematode communities in different types of soils (Haegerbaeumer et al. 2019; Höss et al. 2021). Moreover, first steps were taken to identify nematodes taxa using DNA-based methods (DNA-Barcoding) (see also project report in German: Höss & Helder 2021).