Thank you for helping us to document the biodiversity of life in soils. There are a number of aspects to consider when taking your samples and we hope this guide can help to inform your decisions on a sampling strategy.
Time of the Year
Soil sampling can be done any time of the year and the communities present, particularly microbial communities, will vary depending on whether you assess them in the spring, summer, and fall. A thorough sampling regime will look at the communities that are present throughout the year, not just at a single time-point.
Our kits make use of plastic soil collection syringes, so they are not able to sample during periods of cold weather where the ground may be frozen. Consider taking your first samples as soon as the ground thaws.
There is not a specific type of habitat that we are most interested in. All habitat types can produce interesting results! The type of habitat that you sample from should be based on your individual sampling goals and objectives. Think about the primary reasons you are interested in looking at the biodiversity of your soils.
Some common goals of sampling include assessing the health of the environment, assessing the biodiversity that is present in a location, or to look for red-listed or invasive species. Your specific goals may lead you to bias your sampling efforts towards one habitat type vs. another.
Some example questions to ask yourself can be found below.
What organisms are you most interested in documenting?
Why do you need to document these organisms?