Sample Preparation

1. Remove all visible roots and leaf litter from freshly collected soil samples with a forceps. Roots may be dried and weighed to get a measure of root density of the soil sample.

2. Mix the soil sample thoroughly to make it "homogeneous." Label two 125-mL Erlenmeyer flasks (one NF—nonfumigated—and one F—fumigated); include, of course, the sample site and number on the label. Note: Labels must be in pencil on special white tape, because marker ink and often glue dissolve in chloroform fumes.

3. Weigh about 25 g soil (fresh weight; or 20g dry weight) into each flask (water content should be in the 20-30% range for best fumigation results). Record weights for later correction to dry weight.

4. Include at least four blanks (2F, 2NF) (empty Erlenmeyer flasks).

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