Essentials to assess the impact of bio-based practices on soil life - sampling strategies at landscape scale

C.W. Quist, G. Gort, D.J. Brus, C. Mulder, A. Termorshuizen, J. Bakker, J. Helder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


To assess and monitor the impact of novel bio-based economy related crops and processes on soil life, ideally organismal groups with representatives in all major multiple trophic layers should be used as reporters. Nematodes are represented in each of the three major thropic levels in the soil food web, are highly abundant, and easily extractable from soil (Neher et al., 2005). Moreover, the availability of quantitative molecular assays for a wide range of nematode taxa (Vervoort et al., 2012), allows for a high throughput analysis of samples. Detailed insights in spatial distributions of nematode taxa at meso- (~1 m2) and macro- (~hectare) scale are a prerequisite for (a) the selection of the most informative taxa, and (b) the design of strategies for the affordable and accurate sampling of relatively large areas. To address these two issues ~ 1,500 spatially distant soil samples were collected and ~ 40,000 qPCR reactions were run to detect and quantify ~ 25 nematode taxa per soil sample. This was done for the three main soil types in The Netherlands, namely marine clay, river clay and sandy soil. Results demonstrate that at meso-scale a relatively extensive sampling strategy is sufficient to get insight in the densities of non-rare taxa, and the same strategy can be used for all major Dutch soil types irrespective whether this involves arable or natural soil ecosystems. Hence, statistically robust sampling of nematode communities at landscape scale is far less labor intensive than previously expected. As a next step we present a geo-statistical sampling approach to investigate spatial distribution of nematode taxa on macro-scale.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the BE-Basic Symposium 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventBE-Basic Symposium 2015, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands -
Duration: 31 Mar 20151 Apr 2015


ConferenceBE-Basic Symposium 2015, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands


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