Swiss Soil Monitoring Network (NABO)

Soils are one of our livelihoods. In order to maintain their fertility, they must be used sustainably. The National Soil Monitoring Network (NABO) records and documents the temporal development of the quality of Swiss soils based on chemical, physical and biological soil properties. Our tasks also include early detection and forecasting of changes. To do so, we operate a long-term monitoring system that monitors soils under their normal management. For this purpose, we regularly sample a monitoring network of around 110 sites spread across Switzerland. We also collect annually management and land use data at selected sites. This allows deriving mass balances that are needed to verify the measured temporal trends. In addition to the long-term monitoring, NABO conducts supplementary studies on current issues. Another important module of NABO is the National Soil Information System NABODAT, which brings together soil data from different sources, harmonises them and makes them available for further needs. This soil data management is an essential part of the value chain from soil sample to soil data to its interpretation. As a service, NABO offers consultation services for a diverse clientele with various needs. These services include developing recommendations for cantonal authorities, addressing specific soil-related questions of federal offices and offering technical advice to private clients. In addition, NABO regularly performs proficiency testing. These evaluations are commissioned by the federal government and conducted for interested laboratories to ensure data quality.

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