SAMPLING PROTOCOL

SOILS AND SEDIMENTS KIT – COLD STORAGE

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USING THE KIT

KIT CONTENTS

1x pair of nitrile gloves

1 x corer with plunger

1 x snap lock bag

1 x barcoded sealable mailer bag

1 x sampling datasheet

YOU WILL NEED

  • Smartphone/GPS device

  • Permanent marker

  • Pen

  • Rubber mallet (for soils only)

  • Trowel (optional)

  • Bleach wipes or 10% bleach solution (if you will be reusing any of your own equipment)

  • 1 x cool box for transportation of samples (this can be provided upon request)

PRE-SAMPLING

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN SAMPLING SOILS/SEDIMENTS:

A composite sample consisting of multiple subsample cores is recommended to obtain better representation of the soil/ sediment community. A minimum of 4 x 10 mL subsamples (approx. 40g) is required per sample, but more subsamples will improve representativeness of the diversity. The number of subsamples to be collected should be decided prior to sampling and kept consistent across all samples.

Use a new kit for each new sample. This kit is designed to take one composite sample consisting of multiple subsample cores. The barcodes on the sealable mailer bag and the sampling datasheet within each kit match, please do not mix and match between kits.

Avoid contamination issues by not sampling directly underfoot; DNA from your footwear may transfer from previously visited areas. Gloves should be changed between each composite sample/kit. If a mallet or any other reusable tools are used, they should be decontaminated with bleach wipes or 10% bleach solution between each composite sample.

Use corer with caution in gravelly or rocky soils. Corers will break with hard contact on stones or rocks. In these conditions, it is best to push the core in slowly; gentle taps with the mallet to drive the corer into the soils will allow you to feel hard obstructions.

Corer may not achieve suction in coarse or gravelly sediment. After pushing the corer to the desired depth try angling the corer to near horizontal before pulling up. Alternatively, a scoop could be used instead of the corer.

PROTOCOL

1. Define your intended sampling area and mark out if necessary.

2. Using a permanent marker, label the clear snap lock sample bag containing the syringe with your unique sample ID.

3. Put on provided gloves to minimise cross contamination and introducing your own DNA into the sample.

4. Remove the syringe from the bag and keep hold of the bag because your sample will go into this.

5. Remove debris or litter from the surface where you intend to collect the core. This can be done with a gloved hand. If there is vegetation growing at the surface, gently push aside to minimise the amount captured by the corer.

6. Remove the plunger from the syringe and push the core tube into the soil or sediment while twisting until the core is pushed in up to the 10 mL mark. In soils, it is recommended to use a rubber mallet to gently tap the corer into the ground to minimise pressure on your hand. If the core will not push in all the way, remove and clear the core then try again in a different spot nearby. If soils are too hard and dry for coring, you can use a trowel or spade to break up the soil first.

7. Insert the plunger into the core to provide suction then pull the core out of the substrate.

8. Position the syringe over your labelled sample pot and push the plunger all the way down to expel the entire core into the pot. Replace the lid of the pot between subsamples to prevent contamination of the sample.

9. Repeat steps 5-8 at different locations within the sample area, using the same syringe, using the same corer, until you have collected the required number of subsamples.

10. When all the subsamples have been collected in the bag, mix the cores together within the bag to homogenise. This can be done by “massaging” the outside of the bag with your hands and some careful shaking. Break up clumps of soil between your fingers.

11. Once homogenised, push/shake the sample to the bottom of the bag, roll the bag around the sample to expel excess air from the bag, and then seal.

12. Complete the sampling datasheet and use the NatureMetrics sampling app to scan the barcode on the datasheet to complete your online submission. Please record your sampling data on paper and through the NatureMetrics sampling app so there is a physical and electronic copy of your data.

13. Place both the sampling datasheet and the labelled bag of soil/sediment into the barcoded mailer bag and then peel off strip to seal.

14. Sealed mailer bags should be placed in a cool box/bag with ice packs while in the field. If not shipping the same day, samples can be kept in a fridge for a couple of days before transport otherwise they should be frozen.

15. Return samples to NatureMetrics in a cool box with ice packs for processing: ATTN: Soils and Sediments Team, Nature Metrics, 1 Occam Court, Surrey Research Park, Guildford, GU2 7HJ, United Kingdom.

Disclaimer: Safe sample collection is the responsibility of the Client. NatureMetrics accepts no liability associated
with the use of the kits and sample collection. The Client is solely responsible for the quality of the samples and the representativeness of the samples received by NatureMetrics. The information contained within the Final Report provided by NatureMetrics to the Client is not intended to be advisory, it is informational. Interpretation and decisions are the sole responsibility of the Client. NatureMetrics does not accept any liability whatsoever for any reliance placed on any information contained within, or any use that may be made of, the Final Report by the Client. Please read the full limitation of liability statement in the Terms and Conditions.

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