This document describes a method to compare the quality of soils by determining the fatty acid composition of the leaves of plant species grown in these soils. This method does not make it possible to determine an optimal value of the Omega-3 index and, therefore, cannot be used to determine the intrinsic quality of a soil from a specific area (regarded as homogeneous). The method can only be used to compare the quality of soils between various areas. This method is applicable to: — soils from contaminated sites; — amended soils; — soils after remediation; ? soil with waste products (e.g. slurry, manure, sludge or composts). Alternatively, the quality of soils can be assessed by determining the Omega-3 index of Lactuca sativa seedlings grown in these soils under controlled conditions (i.e. phytotronic chamber) and by comparing these values to those obtained from control soils (see Annex B).

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ISO 18763:2016 describes a technique for determining the effects of soil and soil-related materials on the seed germination and early growth of higher plants. These endpoints are useful indicators for the assessment of the quality of a soil as a habitat for organisms. It is applicable to all soils in which soil organisms are active and may be used to evaluate: - the effects on plants due to toxicity of solid or liquid chemicals contaminating soil or materials (compost, sludge, waste) and chemicals added to soil; - the changes in the soil effect on plants after restoration measures.

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The purpose of ISO 29200:2013 is to describe a method for assessing genotoxic effects (chromosome breakage or dysfunction of the mitotic spindle) of soils or soil materials on the secondary roots of a higher plant: Vicia faba (broad bean). This method allows the assessment of genotoxicity (toxicity for genetic material) of soils and soil materials like compost, sludge, waste, fertilizing matters, etc. Two ways of exposure can be considered: a direct exposure of plants to the soil (or soil material) which is relevant for the real genotoxic potential and an exposure of plants to the water extract of the soil (or soil material). This last way of exposure to a leachate or an eluate allows the detection of the mutagens which are not adsorbed to soils and which may be transferred to aquatic compartments. Moreover, this test may be used to evaluate genotoxic effects of chemical substances and to waters, effluents, etc.

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ISO 11269-1:2012 describes a method for the determination of the effects of contaminated soils or contaminated samples on the root elongation of terrestrial plants. This method is applicable to soils, soil materials, compost, sludge, waste or chemical testing. It is applicable to the comparison of soils of known and unknown quality and to the measurement of effects of materials (compost, sludge, waste) or chemicals deliberately added to the soil. The method is not intended to be used as a measure of the ability of the soil to support sustained plant growth.

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This part of ISO 11269 describes a method to assess the quality of an unknown soil and the soil habitat function by determining the emergence and early growth response of at least two terrestrial plant species compared to reference or standard control soils. It is applicable to soils of unknown quality, e.g. from contaminated sites, amended soils or soils after remediation.

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ISO 17126:2005 specifies test procedures for the determination of effects of contaminated soils or other contaminated samples on the emergence of lettuce seeds. ISO 17126:2005 is applicable to contaminated soils, soil materials, compost, sludge and chemical testing. It is applicable to the measurement of effects of substances deliberately added to the soil and to the comparison of soils of known and unknown quality. ISO 17126:2005 is not applicable to volatile contaminants.

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ISO 22030:2005 describes a method for determining the inhibition of the growth and reproductive capability of higher plants by soils under controlled conditions. Two species are recommended: a rapid-cycling variant of turnip rape (Brassica rapa CrGC syn. Rbr) and oat (Avena sativa). The duration of test should be sufficient to include chronic endpoints that demonstrate the reproductive capability of the test plants. By using natural test soils, e.g. from contaminated sites or remediated soils, and by comparing the development of the test plants in these soils with reference or standard control soils, the test is applicable to assess soil quality, especially the function of the soil as a habitat for plants. This method can be modified to allow use of the chronic plant assay for the testing of chemicals incorporated into soil. By preparing a dilution series of a test substance in standard control soils, the same endpoints can be measured to assess the chronic toxicity of chemicals. This method is not applicable to volatile substances, i.e. substances for which Henry's constant or the air/water partition coefficient is greater than 1, or for which the vapour pressure exceeds 0,013 3 Pa at 25 °C.

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ISO 11269-2:2005 describes a method that is applicable to the determination of possible toxic effects of solid or liquid chemicals incorporated in soil on the emergence and early stages of growth and development of a variety of terrestrial plants. It does not give an indication of damage resulting from direct contact of seedlings with the chemical in the vapour or liquid phase outside the soil environment.The method is also applicable to the comparison of soils of known and unknown quality.

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Describes a method for the determination of possible toxic effects of solid or liquid chemicals incorporated in soil on the early stages of growth and development of a variety of terrestrial plants. Does not give an indication of damages resulting from direct contact of seedlings with chemicals outside the soil environment. Applicable to the comparison of soils of known and unknown quality.

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Describes a preliminary test for the rapid estimation of soil quality by comparing the growth of roots of a specified plant under standard conditions with that in a test soil. The method is applicable to all soils, soil forming materials, waste residues or chemicals which may be applied to soil, except where the contaminant is highly volatile or only affects photosynthesis. Is applicable to the measurement of the effects of substances deliberately added to the soil and to the comparison of soils of known or unknown quality.

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