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Patch size is estimated by the range parameter of the semivariogram model. "Adapted from Ettema and Wardle (2002).

'FAME, fatty acid methyl ester profiles characterizing biomass of specific microbial isolates.

Patch size is estimated by the range parameter of the semivariogram model. "Adapted from Ettema and Wardle (2002).

'FAME, fatty acid methyl ester profiles characterizing biomass of specific microbial isolates.

geostatistical analysis can be used to design a hot-spot stratified sampling scheme (Robertson, 1994; Klironomos et al., 1999).

Knowledge of the spatial dependency of soil biota attributes helps to interpret their ecological meaning at the ecosystem scale. Biochemical processes in the soil are dynamic, leading to variation in both space and time. Landscape-scale analyses by geostatistical methods are useful tools for identifying and explaining spatial relationships between soil biochemical processes and site properties. Further model improvements, however, should focus on identifying and mapping time-space patterns using modern approaches such as fuzzy classification and geostatistical interpolation.

storage and pretreatment of samples

Biological analyses should be performed as soon as possible after soil sampling to minimize the effects of storage on soil microbial communities. Moist soil can be stored for up to 3 weeks at 4°C when samples cannot be processed immediately. If longer storage periods are necessary, the samples taken to measure most soil biochemical properties (soil microbial biomass, enzyme activities, etc.) can be stored at -20°C; the soil is then allowed to thaw at 4°C for about 2 days before analysis. The soil disturbance associated with sampling may itself trigger changes in the soil population during the storage interval. Observations on stored samples may not be representative of the undisturbed field soil. If samples are stored, care should be taken to ensure that samples do not dry out and that anaerobic conditions do not develop. Soil samples are often sieved through a 2-mm mesh screen to remove stones, roots, and debris prior to analysis. Wet soil samples have to be either sieved through a 5-mm mesh or gently predried before using the 2-mm mesh sieve.

microbial biomass

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