11 Mar 2024
 | 11 Mar 2024

Impacts of soil storage on microbial parameters

Nathalie Fromin

Abstract. This review aims to determine the impact of soil storage on microbial parameters (abundance/biomass, activity and various diversity metrics). We analysed the literature dealing with the impact of storage practices (cold, freeze, dry, freeze-dry and ambient storage) on soil microbial parameters. A total of 73 articles were included in the analysis, representing 261 basic data (impact of a given storage practice on a microbial parameter). Globally, 74 % of these data showed significant impact of storage on the measured microbial parameters, as compared to those measured on fresh, non-stored soil samples. The storage practices showed various effects on the soil microbial parameters, with sometimes opposite effects across different soil types. For instance, various soil enzyme activities did not respond the same way to storage practices, even in a given soil type. There are currently too few studies to draw recommendations, but some studies suggest that the pedoclimatic context could be useful for choosing the best storage option, with soils that regularly undergo drought or freezing being less impacted by dry and freeze storage, respectively. I conclude that storage practices for soil samples, when unavoidable, should be carefully selected according to conditions that prevail in the native soil environment, to microbial parameters that are analysed (even though there is no consensus for a best practice), and with different storage practices for different microbial parameters if necessary.

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Nathalie Fromin

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-411', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Jun 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-411', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 Jun 2024
Nathalie Fromin
Nathalie Fromin


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Short summary
Despite massive use, the impact of storage on soil microbial parameters has been assessed in a very scattered way. I analysed 73 research articles dealing with the impact of storage practices on various soil microbial parameters. The results show significant effects of all storage practices on soil microbial parameters in a vast majority of cases. Storage practices should be carefully selected according to conditions that prevail in the native soil environment and to microbial parameters.