Useful for monitoring soil multi-functionality and soil quality.
Monitoring may be applied by a range of users, to track changes in soil quality/health and functionality over time in response to market or policy-led incentives. Monitoring requires a simplified set of measurements that can provide proxies for the detailed mechanisms and interactions that we saw being assessed in the first two assessment scales. Monitoring is commonly applied over larger spatial scales at either country scale or continental scale or maybe conducted across a group of producers for a specific value-chain. At this scale of operation, the logistics of sample collection should be considered, for example the amount of sample that can be collected and transported or the accessibility to the site for short-term repeat visits may be constrained. Once in the laboratory, reliability and consistency of methods should be considered carefully, as the results of monitoring will inform policy intervention and management actions for years to come. As methods may change or be improved through new instrumentation over time, it is important that samples can be stored and archived, to allow for future testing of methodological differences, correlations and biases.
Drawing created in collaboration with Marije Barel (www.mybesign.nl)Method Selection Tool