Canadian Soil Biodiversity Observatory

The Canadian Soil Biodiversity Observatory (CSBO) is employing high-throughput culturing and sequencing (amplicon and shotgun metagenomics sequencing) to isolate and characterize soil organisms across a range of ecosystems to develop predictive models, digital maps of soil biodiversity for Eastern Canada.

AAFC has funded two projects to characterise the soil biodiversity and its relationships with soil physico-chemical parameters and land use. One project targets the Atlantic provinces (PI: Dr. Louis-Pierre Comeau) while the other targets the Ontario and Québec provinces (PI: Dr. Franck Stefani).

Sampling locations

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Land access - Ontario

The success of these projects relies on being granted the right to access private lands for collecting soil samples. The list of the targeted parcels is available in the excel document below. Parcels can be searched by property identification number, assessment roll number, township or municipality.

Ontario Sampling Sites (XLSX, 32 KB)

These sites have been selected across the three southernmost ecoregions of Ontario using environmental data (climate, type of soil, land cover, topography, etc.). If one of our sampling sites is on your property and you would like to contribute to the monitoring of soil biodiversity in Canada:

  1. Download and complete the Permission to Enter (PDF, 253KB) form
  2. Send completed forms to

Data will be anonymous and confidential and will be used and analyzed only at an aggregate level.

Soil biodiversity in Canada

Soil biodiversity loss is among the top global risks to society. Soil habitats are under constant pressure from major threats such as land-use change, over-exploitation of natural resources, pollution, invasive alien species and climate change.

Soils constitute one of the largest reservoirs of biodiversity. It is estimated that 25–30% of all species on Earth live in soils for all or part of their lives. This biodiversity supports multi-functionality in terrestrial ecosystems, such as soil fertility, food and fiber production, water cycling, pest and diseases regulation, carbon sequestration and nitrogen fixation.

Related links

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