The main goal of the National Soil Monitoring Network NABO is the nationwide assessment and evaluation of chemical, physical and biological impacts on soil. Additional tasks include the prediction and early detection of soil changes to ensure long-term soil fertility. For this purpose, the NABO conducts a long-term monitoring of soils under current management conditions.
The National Soil Monitoring Network makes an important contribution to the monitoring of ecological sustainability, and offers solutions to soil risks and methods for evaluating soil functions in Switzerland.
Depending on the study question, various tools are being used:
The monitoring module records the soil condition and its temporal development via periodically recurring samplings at monitoring sites. Thus, undesirable trends can be detected early and countermeasures can be proposed. Furthermore, the effectiveness of applied environmental protection measures can be evaluated.
The modelling module annually collects usage data at selected agricultural monitoring sites. Substance balances based on these data allow plausibility checks of the measured temporal changes. Substance balances and process models further allow predictions and the creation of scenarios for a sustainable soil use. In accompanying studies, a regional substance balancing model was developed to support sustainable substance cycles of nutrients and pollutants on a regional scale.
A third module of the NABO addresses the national soil information of Switzerland. At its core, this module operates the service centre NABODAT. In the framework of the national research programme NFP68, methods to evaluate soil functions are being established, and the partial thematic synthesis ‘Soil Data, Methods and Tools’ is being generated.
The NABO offers consultation services for various clients and needs. The tasks of the service module are to conduct complementary studies for clients and offer technical advice to any interested party.