Sample Collection Procedure

  • Put a 25 x25m plot into the field in a reasonably homogenous environment (based on soil, vegetation and land use)
  • Collect at least 1kg (comprising between 9-30 samples) from the plot in a manner that adequately samples the whole plot and ensures biological integrity of the sample. These can be sampled regularly on a grid if you think there isn’t much microgeographic variation, or the sample points could be stratified to take account of anything you think might be important.
  • Split samples into top 10cm and the rest (define)
  • Assign unique sample identifiers to the two subsamples (these identifiers will be supplied by Bioplatforms upon site approval)
  • Pool and mix the subsamples for each of the two depths. Samples are best mixed in the field in a large ziplock plastic bags from which aliquots can easily be drawn. Sieve if needed.
  • Weigh soil
  • Estimate gravimetric moisture content (104°C for 24hrs)
  • For each of the two mixed subsamples: fill 50mL Falcon tube with soil for DNA analysis and freeze as soon as possible. Contact John Stephen ( John.Stephen@agrf.org.au) at AGRF Adelaide before sending frozen sample directly to AGRF for DNA extraction and analysis.
  • Gently air dry and bag remaining soil and store for future chemical analysis (250g dry weight preferred [200g minimum required] for the ‘Comprehensive’ and ‘Particle Size’ tests by CSBP, Perth, WA) and archiving (minimum 200g dry weight to be sent to the CSIRO National Soils Archive, Canberra).
  • Collect and record all other local contextual data listed in Table 1
  • Take photo of plot – soil and surrounding environment (example below)

Soil Sample Picture

Table 1. Required contextual data for BASE project soil sample submission*

Site description:

Manditory

Recommended

Optional

Sample date
Latitude and longitude
Current land use
Current vegetation
History:

  • Previous land use
  • Agrochemical additions
  • Tillage
  • Fire
  • Flooding
Other:

Site description:

Manditory

Recommended

Optional

Depth
Horizon
Volume/Mass of sample
Composite design/Sieving (if any)
Water content of soil
Sample weight for DNA extraction
Storage conditions (fresh/ frozen/ other)

Climate:

Manditory

Recommended

Optional

Mean annual and seasonal temperature
Mean annual and seasonal precipitation

Soil classification:

Manditory

Recommended

Optional

FAO classification
Australian soil classification
Soil type
Elevation

Soil analysis:

Manditory

Recommended

Optional

Texture:

  • % sand
  • % silt
  • % clay
  • % gravel
pH
Total organic C
Total N
Phosphorus
Microbial biomass
WHC (water holding capacity)
Cation exchange capacity

Extreme/unusual properties:

Manditory

Recommended

Optional

Salinity
Heavy metals
Al saturation
Sulphur
Boron/Al
Selenium

* Please note that BPA will not provide funding for contextual data collection though it will support efforts to seek co-investment.

Soil Secrets

“Soil Secrets” presented on ABC’s Landline program (Nov 2012) gives an excellent overview of soil research in Australia and the resulting benefits to agriculture. Our soil datasets provide critical genomic data for this research and are being generated in collaboration with a number of Australia’s leading soil and agriculture scientists including Pauline Mele who features in this program.

Data Visualisation

Explore BASE data with Atlas of Living Australia visualisation tools

Explore BASE data at ALA

Data Downloads

Soil, Melanoma, Wheat, Great Barrier Reef …

View Data

Bioplatforms Australia

+61 0410 538 648

agilbert@bioplatforms.com.au

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