Report published on the evaluation of soil biodiversity via DNA from soil organism samples

Germany still lacks a nationwide and standardised survey of soil organisms, although a comprehensive infrastructure for such a survey is available with approx. 800 permanent soil monitoring sites (Bodendauer­beobachtungsflächen, BDF). At present, not all federal states perform biodiversity surveys on their permanent soil monitoring sites. This is most likely due to the fact that the identification of soil invertebrates is time-consuming and expensive. This issue was targeted in the project ‘Evaluation of biodiversity via DNA-extraction from soil and organism samples taken at permanent soil monitoring sites’ (MetaSOL) funded by the German Environment Agency and coordinated by ECT. Earthworms, enchytraeids and collembolans were sampled at 25 sites and determined morphologically and by DNA metabarcoding, and the results were compared. Recommendations were developed for an efficient and routinely implementable monitoring of soil fauna within the German BDF programme. For further information see the project report:

Jänsch, S., Scheffczyk, A., Römbke, J., Rojo, V., Vierna, J., Vizcaíno, A., Natal da Luz, T., Alves, D., Martins, P., Mendes, S., Scopel, L., Sousa, J.P., Krogh, P.H., Sapkota, R., Schmelz, R.M. (2023). Bewertung der biologischen Vielfalt mittels DNA-Extraktion aus Bodenproben von BDF. UBA-Texte 142/2023.

More information on the project can be found here.

For further new publications, see ECT’s publication list.