Results of Soil Metadata Survey for Microbial Studies

The purpose of this survey was to determine what data about soil is believed to be important to accompany microbial molecular data entered into major databases, e.g GenBank, EMBL, RDP. The value of this metadata is to enable a search of the data for particular features and for determining relationships among soil features and molecular data over more global data sets. We are surveying the soil biology community to gain this assessment and then will work with the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) and the Environmental Ontology Subgroup to ensure that soil data will be properly considered along with the metadata from other environments.

--from Jim Tiedje, Michigan State University, as an initiative
of the Genomic Standards Consortium and the new
International Soil Metagenome Consortium (Terragenome)




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Soil Metadata Survey Report

# Who
Checked
Req'd
Tallied Responses March 10 to June 10
-- 95 unique IP responses --
(visit Comments page)
Importance Difficulty
1 2 3 4   1 2 3 4  
Not
important
at all
Minimally
important
Moderately
important
Very
important
left
blank
Easy to
obtain
Moderately
easy
Moderately
difficult
Very
difficult
to obtain
left
blank
  Chemical                    
63 pH (in water or Calcium chloride) 7 5 13 68 2 84 7 0 0 4
27 salinity/conductivity 5 28 32 24 6 46 28 7 0 14
60 total organic C 3 5 12 71 4 23 48 18 0 6
51 total N 3 11 19 58 4 24 40 23 1 7
24 nitrogen species (e.g., Nitrate, Ammonia) 2 23 35 29 6 11 36 34 6 8
27 total P 1 28 38 22 6 15 29 38 6 7
18 total S 4 35 35 13 8 9 25 40 11 10
14 Ca, Mg 5 39 32 9 10 11 39 33 2 10
8 carbonates 12 35 24 11 12 9 38 29 5 14
26 available carbon (e.g., DOC...) 1 13 40 33 8 9 30 40 7 9
13 carbon fractions (e.g., light, heavy, occluded, fulvic, humic acids) 4 37 29 14 11 2 4 34 43 12
13 mineralogy 7 20 40 9 19 5 16 30 28 16
15 pore space oxygen concentration 10 22 33 15 15 4 9 28 37 17
14 Eh (redox potential) 4 26 26 23 16 11 26 24 18 16
18 cation exchange capacity 5 26 37 12 15 11 29 37 4 14
8 base saturation 4 41 26 6 18 7 33 33 4 18
6 Al saturation 5 46 17 7 20 4 26 38 5 22
15 pollutants (e.g., solvents, heavy metals) 6 24 28 21 16 2 9 39 30 15
14 trace elements (e.g., metals: Fe, Mn, Cu...) 7 33 28 11 16 8 21 39 12 15
                       
  Physical                    
41 texture (granulometry) 5 15 17 47 11 26 35 19 1 14
7 aggregate stability 7 30 32 6 20 6 24 37 8 20
4 penetration resistance 16 40 13 6 20 17 33 17 5 23
19 soil structure 9 22 30 16 18 11 32 28 3 21
15 porosity 7 19 33 18 18 8 30 30 7 20
26 bulk density 7 23 26 25 14 23 37 17 2 16
11 water retention curve 6 22 30 17 20 3 17 33 18 24
13 field capacity 7 26 27 14 21 16 31 20 5 23
3 wilting coeffecient 15 34 18 5 23 5 24 27 12 27
6 infiltration capacity 7 37 23 7 21 7 23 31 12 22
21 slope, position 8 20 27 21 18 53 16 6 0 20
                       
  Biological                    
36 microbial biomass and its C,N,P 2 12 24 49 8 3 30 42 8 12
31 C/N ratio 4 10 26 44 11 27 30 19 5 14
15 respiration rate 3 22 37 22 11 10 29 32 9 15
14 N cycle rates (e.g., nitrification) 2 28 33 19 13 3 13 39 21 19
40 plant cover (native) 6 15 20 42 12 36 30 11 3 15
11 root biomass 3 27 27 21 17 7 17 33 18 20
17 enzymatic activities (e.g., dehydrogenases) 10 20 31 19 15 4 18 41 15 17
14 annual primary productivity of site 6 20 33 19 17 6 26 30 13 20
13 annual plant residue returned to soil 6 24 31 15 19 8 24 30 13 20
14 soil fauna (types, density) 5 30 29 14 17 4 10 30 33 18
10 earthworm activity or density 6 31 32 7 19 6 14 45 9 21
9 susceptibility to microbe immigration (water, dust, birds…) 11 31 28 7 18 4 16 28 27 20
                       
  Soil / Geological                    
61 soil type (classification) 7 5 19 55 8 30 39 11 1 14
52 horizon 7 6 21 47 14 39 32 4 0 20
17 drainage classification 7 26 31 15 16 20 38 15 3 19
20 parent rock material 8 29 25 20 13 24 35 16 2 18
11 water table (maximum and minimum annual depths) 11 26 29 13 16 10 19 35 13 18
16 degree of heterogeneity within sampled site 4 21 29 25 16 5 26 27 19 18
                       
  Geographical                    
59 latitude and longitude 7 5 16 58 8 76 7 1 0 11
57 elevation 7 5 21 52 10 72 8 2 0 13
                       
  Management                    
64 land use (e.g., urban, agriculture, forestry) 8 0 11 68 8 71 8 2 1 13
41 tillage (type) 7 12 19 46 11 61 17 3 1 13
48 crops (current, rotation) 6 8 21 51 9 64 14 4 1 12
17 crop yield 7 31 25 19 13 25 31 17 5 17
24 animal activity (e.g., feral pigs, grazing) 7 23 29 21 15 24 37 15 2 17
39 fertilizers (type and annual amount) 4 5 31 45 10 34 30 14 5 12
28 pesticides 4 12 27 37 15 25 28 20 6 16
32 historical data (e.g., previous land use) 7 8 31 40 9 10 28 33 12 12
23 fire 5 21 26 29 14 24 27 24 2 18
16 erosion 4 26 27 23 15 13 30 29 5 18
                       
  Climate                    
53 mean and seasonal rainfall 4 11 13 60 7 39 35 8 2 11
48 mean and seasonal temperatures 4 11 14 58 8 36 34 8 3 14
16 evapotransportation 6 24 37 14 14 9 24 39 7 16
9 global radiation 9 33 24 10 19 12 19 31 12 21
                       
  Sampling                    
68 depth 9 0 5 75 6 78 7 0 1 9
45 composite design 6 11 12 50 16 56 20 1 1 17
36 soil temperature at sampling 8 28 23 27 9 57 22 3 0 13
23 weather at sampling 12 32 28 13 10 69 10 1 1 14
44 moisture content at sampling 6 15 19 42 13 57 17 6 0 15
35 area represented by composite sample 5 16 22 37 15 46 24 5 1 19
53 weight of sample used for DNA extraction 7 10 14 55 9 68 11 2 0 14