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Forest Focus Regulation (EC) N 2152/2003 was adopted by the European Commission to broaden the scope of the monitoring scheme from the protection of forests against atmospheric pollution and forest fires toward other environmental issues such as soils and forest biodiversity.
BioSoil is a demonstration project, part of the programme of the International Cooperative Programme on the Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests). This project was a test for the development of operational soil monitoring at a large scale.
There are 167 BioSoil plots on 16 x 16 km grid in the UK, of which 125 on private woodland and 42 on Forestry Commission Woodland.
Plots were installed in 2006 by Forest Research Technical Services Unit.
The soil survey was carried out by two groups of professional soil surveyors, one based in England (Land Research Associates) and one in Scotland (Andrew Hipkin and Gordon Hudson).
All 167 plots have been surveyed and the field information and soil description are under processing. Soil samples are processed and are being analysed by our chemical analysis laboratory.
The project was based on a strategy of describing and sampling soils on a 16×16 km grid network that fall onto forested land, and was the single largest soil monitoring exercise implemented so far at the EU scale.
Its primary aim was to establish an improved common European baseline of forest soils for environmental applications (e.g. acidification and/or eutrophication; carbon stock assessment, impacts of climatic changes, etc.) but also evaluate methodology before EU-wide monitoring programmes for other land use types are set up.
The BioSoil project in the UK was led by Forest Research. Timing of the various actions were:
BioSoil information and data has been compiled and submitted into EU database. Soil resampling of a number of the Level II sites has been carried out during 2016-2017.
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