Designing sampling schemes for effect monitoring of nutrient leaching from agricultural soils.

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21 Citations (Scopus)


A general methodology for designing sampling schemes for monitoring is illustrated with a case study aimed at estimating the temporal change of the spatial mean P concentration in the topsoil of an agricultural field after implementation of the remediation measure. A before-after control-impact (BACI) sample-pattern is proposed, with stratified random sampling as a spatial sampling design. The strata are formed as compact blocks of equal area, so that the sample locations cover the field very well. Composite sampling, where the aliquots of a composite come from different strata, is proposed in order to save laboratory costs. The numbers of composites and aliquots per composite are optimized for testing the hypothesis that the mean P concentration didn't change or has increased. Initially, this is done for a known variogram, temporal correlation, variance of laboratory measurement error, initial mean P concentration, and time needed for fieldwork. The optimal sample size to achieve a power of 0.90 at a 10% decrease of the mean P concentration is six composites of six aliquots each. Next, the effect of uncertainty about these model parameters on the optimal sample size and on the power of the test for a fixed sample size is analyzed. This analysis showed that, to obtain a probability of 95% that the power ¿ 0.90, the sample size must be increased to 7 composites of 10 aliquots each.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-303
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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