Towards a National Soil Database

Synthesis report from the ERTDI project: 2002-CD-S2-M2 (D. Fay et al.)

Summary: ERTDI Report 69 - D. Fay et al.

Published: 2007

ISBN: 1-84095-239-3

Pages: 22

Filesize: 3,308 KB

Format: pdf


The National Soil Database has produced a national database of soil geochemistry including point and spatial distribution maps of major nutrients, major elements, essential trace elements, trace elements of special interest and minor elements. In addition, this study has generated a National Soil Archive, comprising bulk soil samples and a nucleic acids archive each of which represent a valuable resource for future soils research in Ireland. The geographical coherence of the geochemical results was considered to be predominantly underpinned by underlying parent material and glacial geology. Other factors such as soil type, land use, anthropogenic effects and climatic effects were also evident. The coherence between elements, as displayed by multivariate analyses, was evident in this study. Examples included strong relationships between Co, Fe, As, Mn and Cu. This study applied large-scale microbiological analysis of soils for the first time in Ireland and in doing so also investigated microbial community structure in a range of soil types in order to determine the relationship between soil microbiology and chemistry. The results of the microbiological analyses were consistent with geochemical analyses and demonstrated that bacterial community populations appeared to be predominantly determined by soil parent material and soil type.