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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED INVASIVE SPECIES CONTROL, REVEGETATION, AND ASSESSMENT OF GREAT BASIN RANGELANDS

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Title: Quick start guide to soil methods for ecologists

Authors
item Perkins, Lora -
item Blank, Robert
item Ferguson, Scot -
item Johnson, Dale -
item Lindemann, William -
item Rau, Benjamin

Submitted to: Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 17, 2013
Publication Date: June 16, 2013
Citation: Perkins, L.B., Blank, R.R., Ferguson, S.D., Johnson, D.W, Lindemann, W.C, Rau, B.M. 2013. Quick start guide to soil methods for ecologists. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. 15:237-244.

Interpretive Summary: Increasingly biologists and ecologists are becoming aware of the vital importance of soil to processes observed aboveground and are incorporating soil analyses into their research. Because of the dynamic and heterogeneous nature of soil, proper incorporation of soil analysis into ecological studies requires knowledge and planning. Unfortunately, many ecologists may not be current (or trained at all) in soil science. We provide this review, based on our cumulative > 50 years of work in soil science, to help familiarize researchers with essential information to appropriately incorporate soil analyses into ecological studies. Specifically, we provide a brief introduction into soils and then discuss issues related to sampling soils, soil sterilization, choosing a soil for a greenhouse project, and choosing and interpreting soil analyses.

Technical Abstract: Increasingly biologists and ecologists are becoming aware of the vital importance of soil to processes observed aboveground and are incorporating soil analyses into their research. Because of the dynamic and heterogeneous nature of soil, proper incorporation of soil analysis into ecological studies requires knowledge and planning. Unfortunately, many ecologists may not be current (or trained at all) in soil science. We provide this review, based on our cumulative > 50 years of work in soil science, to help familiarize researchers with essential information to appropriately incorporate soil analyses into ecological studies. Specifically, we provide a brief introduction into soils and then discuss issues related to sampling soils, soil sterilization, choosing a soil for a greenhouse project, and choosing and interpreting soil analyses.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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