Field Procedure for Sampling Soil for Laboratory Analysis

Collecting soil samples from the field for estimating organic matter involves the following steps:

Step 1: Locate and mark the tree sampling plots and points in the field (as described in earlier sections) Step 2: Scrape the surface of the soil and remove litter and stones Step 3: Using a soil augur, collect a soil sample for a depth of 0-15 cm

° Select three sampling points from each tree quadrats ° Push the augur to a depth of 15 cm

° Collect samples at this depth from all the sampling plots in the sampling stratum

° Pool the samples from the three replicates and select a subsample by successively quartering the larger sample: spread the pooled sample on a plastic sheet, divide into quarters and select any two opposite quarters; repeat the process until left with about 0.5 kg of soil ° Collect at least four to six replicates for each land-use category or project activity stratum and depth

Step 4: Repeat the procedure for 15-30 cm depth

Step 5: Transfer the soil samples immediately - within 24 h - to the laboratory to minimize loss of organic matter; if this is not possible, air-dry the samples in shade and then transfer them to the laboratory Step 6: Dry the soil samples to constant weight in an oven at 105 °C Step 7: Weigh the dried samples and determine the moisture content of the soil

If a core sampler or augur is not available, dig to a depth of 15 cm, collect the soil, dig deeper (up to 30 cm) and collect the second sample.

Data regarding the sample Record the following information about each sample along with date of sampling and names of field staff. A suggested format for recording details of field soil samples is shown below.

Land-use category/project Quadrat or Sample Depth (cm) GPS readings activity/stratum and plot number number location

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Project Management Made Easy

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