Climate Change Laboratory

Members of the ESS-CALM laboratory have a long standing experience with field sampling and analyses for environmental studies.

We offer the design and implementation of field sampling campaigns and field experiments. Our laboratory is well equipped for sample pretreatment and a wide variety of physical, chemical and biological analyses. Being a research oriented laboratory, we are used to “think along” with our customers in order to provide the best solutions for environmental studies.

Field work and sampling includes

  • sampling design for environmental parameters
  • soil inventory and mapping
  • soil carbon and nutrient budgets
  • soil sampling and characterization
  • vegetation sampling
  • soil and vegetation sampling during experimental treatment studies
  • soil temperature
  • soil moisture
  • extraction of soil solution by using ceramic cups and/or Rhizon samplers
  • CO2 efflux (microbial and root respiration; EGM)
  • sampling for isotope studies (δ13C,  δ15N)

Physical analysis include for instance

  • soil / sediment bulk density
  • soil / sediment moisture content
  • soil / sediment texture (grain size analysis; Coulter)
  • dry and wet sieving
  • extraction of soil solution by high speed centrifugation
  • pH in water or KCl extract
  • fractionation based on density (separation of organic and mineral particles)
  • physical dispersion by sonification

Chemical analysis

  • total carbon and organic carbon (solid phase; Interscience element analyser)
  • total nitrogen (solid phase; Interscience element analyser)
  • total carbon and organic carbon in solution (Shimadzu TOC)
  • total nitrogen in solution (Shimadzu TN)
  • ammonium and nitrate (autoanalyser)
  • available phosphate based on Bray or Olsen methods
  • cations (sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium by capillary electrophoresis)
  • anions (chloride, nitrate, sulphate, and phosphate by capillary electrophoresis)
  • base saturation of soil and sediment
  • sodium hydroxide and/or sodium pyrophosphate extractions for organic matter analysis
  • analysis of low molecular weight organic acids in solution (capillary electrophoresis)
  • fractionation based on chemical oxidation (e.g. sulphuric acid)
  • dialysis of (clay) suspension
  • freeze drying

Biological measurements

  • decomposition of plant, litter and soil organic matter (measurement of respiration (CO2 flux) in temperature controlled ADC respirometer)
  • determination of temperature dependence of organic matter decomposition / mineralization rate

Pricing of standard analysis is based on the number of samples. Other work is based on hourly rates.