How rapidly does water content change in top soil?

Sat Jan 29 11:44:28 EST 1994

Please excuse me if this is not the appropriate group for this question.

I am presently doing research on the effects of egg size in a cricket
species.  Egg size seems to correlate both with the depth that the
female lays her eggs and with the ability of the hatchlings to crawl up
through the earth to the surface successfully.  The environmental
variable that egg size, length of the females ovipositor, and depth of
laying correlates with is soil moisture (in wet environments eggs are
small, laid near the surface and the females ovipositors tend to be
short).  This suggests the hypothesis that females are laying eggs
deeper in the soil to avoid desication.

My question is: does the moisture in soil change in any significant
manner over the first few centimeters of depth, in other words would
an egg laid at 4 cm and one laid at 6 cm experience any difference in
water availability?

I thank you in advance for any responses, please send them to my e-mail
            Ilana Weigensberg

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