BioSoil project - soil component set-up

BioSoil was a demonstration project, part of the programme of the International Cooperative Programme on the Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests). The project was a test for the development of operational soil monitoring at a large scale.

In order to achieve the required objectives of the soil component of this project, the following main requirements have been implemented.

Soil sampling

The basis for the BioSoil implementation wasin principle the current version (updated 6/2003) of the ICP Forests manual:

ICP manual on methods and criteria for harmonised sampling, assessment, monitoring and analysis of the effects of air pollution on forests (PDF-1560K)

The sampling strategy adopted for this project included all sites of the 16 km by 16 km Level I network of the EU Member States which participate in the project.

Measurements and analyses

Measurements and analyses performed on BioSoil plots included all parameters (mandatory and optional parameters according to the ICP Forests soil manual) for organic soil horizons and the mineral soil layers 0 to 10 cm, 10 to 20 cm, 20 to 40 cm and 40 to 80 cm according to the revised manual of procedures.

Analyses were performed at National level by laboratories that performed well in interlaboratory comparison exercises following the analytical procedures described in the manual.

A subset of the samples from benchmark BioSoil plots (corresponding to ca. 10% to 15% of the total sites) were analysed in parallel by a central laboratory. The central and the national laboratories participated in future interlaboratory comparison exercises organised within the framework of this project.

Soil profile

Following the ICP Forests soil manual, a full soil profile description according to the FAO guidelines (1990) and classified according to the World Reference Base WRB (1998) was provided.

This pedological information was centrally stored in a newly developed soil profile database.