Upgrades to Soil Life Monitor

Upgrades to Soil Life Monitor

11 January 2024

Eurofins has reduced the analysis time of the Soil Life Monitor and added two new parameters: the Shannon Diversity Index and clay content. This allows soil management to be even better aligned with the status of soil life. Soil Life Monitor maps the total amount of microbial biomass and the bacterial/fungal ratio of the soil.

Healthy soils are better able to cope with stresses such as drought, flooding, temperature extremes, pests, diseases, and land-use change. Balanced soil life is therefore the basis for resilient soils and sustainable agriculture and natural systems.

Shorter analysis time

The analysis time of the Soil Life Monitor has been significantly reduced from 15 days to just five, thanks to the use of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). This is a fast, innovative, and reliable method of measurement that always uses PLFA analysis as the reference method. The new method is continuously calibrated and allows you to receive your Soil Life Monitor report in the post much faster.

Improved diversity index

The diversity of soil life is an important component of healthy soils. The Soil Life Monitor report now includes the Shannon-Wiener index, a globally recognised measure of ecological diversity. This index uses the number of species and their abundance. Diversity is lowest when only one species is present in the soil, and highest when all species are equally abundant. In Soil Life Monitor, the Shannon-Wiener index is based on the six groups measured (gram+ bacteria, gram- bacteria, actinomycetes, arbuscular mycorrhizae, other fungi, and protozoa).

New parameter

A new parameter has been added: clay content. A higher clay content provides a better water-holding capacity and, due to the smaller pores, a better habitat for certain micro-organisms such as bacteria and protozoa, compared to on sand. Clay particles also protect organic matter from degradation by soil organisms. The clay content therefore indicates the stability of the organic material.