Background and Objectives
Monolith of soil in NIAES premises (soil cross-section sample)
NIAES is in the process of constructing databases of samples, specimens and information relating to soil, insects, microorganisms and other agro-environmental resources, and are working to construct systems (inventories) for the efficient search and use of such databases, while already disseminating some of the compiled information and data.
To facilitate the comprehensive utilization of these inventories, we will develop methods to link individual databases by means of the GIS (Geographical Information System) and to promote registration and collection of new information. Furthermore, we will enhance the inventory content by the updating and addition of samples and data and will develop methods for use, in order to offer inventories useful for formulation of agro-environmental risk indicators and the development of risk assessment methods.
Holotype of Noctuidae
On a separate matter, consistent classification is necessary to construct an inventory, but presently different soil classification systems are used for farmland and forest. In both systems, furthermore, the classifications refer only to 1 meter below ground level, which makes them inadequate for assessing groundwater pollution. A more consistent soil classification system is needed that would cover deeper layers and would not be influenced by land use. Accordingly, we will promote the reconstruction of the soil classification system including deep soil layers, and will propose a more comprehensive soil classification scheme.
Insect formation and specimens are in most part stored independently and are not available for ready use. We will integrate and systematize such stock of information for one-window access, easy viewing and wide use.
With respect to microorganisms, we have created a microorganism database named “microForce” and are disseminating a variety of microorganism information to the public, while accumulating an array of information related to plant-inhabiting fungi. To further promote effective utilization of such up-to-date information, we will continue to renew and add data as well as achieve higher system sophistication.
Various information relating to soil, insect and microorganism will be transmitted and gathered through the Internet, and heterogeneous inventory information will be presented visually on a map. In this way, information useful for the formulation of agro-environmental risk indicators and the development of risk assessment methods will be made available. Also, a comprehensive soil classification system will permit consistent handling of soil information from farmland to forest for all of Japan.
Relevant Outcomes to Date
Fig. 1 A soil map overlaid on a topographical map
Development of an integrated soil information gathering system
We were the first to develop a system that displays nation-wide soil survey results (site information, profile description, physiochemical analytical values, soil map) on a map by using the Web GIS functions, and permits on-site users to input and update new survey results on-line (Fig. 1). The system has made it possible to collect and display in an integrated manner all the survey results that are produced currently by administrative officials.
Fig. 2 List of insect type specimens (partial)
List of insect type specimens and image display on the web
We uploaded on the web a complete list of 508 species of insect type specimens owned by NIAES and specimens information on 279 species with images (Fig. 2). This has made it easy for outside viewers to confirm the asset list of type specimens at NIAES and obtain information on the shape of specimens.
Fig. 3 Search by keyword screen of microForce
Construction of a microorganism inventory (microForce) in a decentralized database structure and data disclosure on the web
Under a decentralized structure a “microorganism inventory” has been constructed, and a database covering NIAES-owned microbial specimens, herbicide 2,4-D decomposing bacteria and Burkholderia cepacia, which is a pathogen that affects both humans and animals, has been made available for public viewing on the web (Fig. 3). Through species name and other keywords, information can be retrieved from multiple databases.