Forest Foliar Co-ordinating Centre (FFCC)
Information about the current Needle/Leaf Interlaboratory Test
For future tests I always need dried and powdered foliage samples from one tree and one "leaf type" or needle set (dry weight approx. 4-5kg leaves or needles) or a homogenized litterfall sample (dry weight approx. 4-5kg). If someone is willing to do this sampling and preparation work for one of the next ringtests*), please contact me by e-mail.

Usual timetable for the annual Needle/Leaf Interlaboratory Comparison Tests 

Informing the participating labs via email (Febuary/March)
Registration of the participants via internet (Deadline end of June)
Distribution of four test samples with an invoice for the participation fee (July)
Payment must be done before data submission!
Data submission by the labs (October-December)
Deadline of data submission (Deadline end of December)
First results (January next year)
Re-qualification process started (see requalification process details)
Final Report and online Qualification Report (February next year)
Re-qualification process finished (Deadline August next year)

For each parameter (total element concentration) four replicates are necessary for this Interlaboratory Test. The results for the elements S, N. P, K, Ca, Mg, C, Zn, Mn, Fe, Cu, Pb, Cd, B, As, Co, Cr, Hg and Ni will be evaluated. Mandatory parameters are S, N, P, K, Ca, Mg and C! Other additional elements can be analysed, but only the results will be given in the report, without detailed statistical evaluation. An overview of the elements that can be analysed and the proper units for all elements are avalable here. Don't forget to use only  recommended methods which are described in the ICP-Forests submanual Sampling and Analysis of Needles and Leaves. The recommanded minimum sample weight is 250 mg. All results must be calculated on dry weight (105°C).

Data submission and confirmation of the results must be done by the participating laboratories on their own over the internet with a web-based interface to an Oracle database. If your laboratory is analysing foliar/litterfall samples for the ICP-Forests Programme on Level II, the interlaboratory test samples should be analysed within this sample batch, but they must be finished before the deadline.

Together with the ringtest report each participant will have access to their online qualification report. Re-qualification is mandatory for all ICP-Forests laboratories. In this ringtest laboratory code-numbers will be opened to all participants, the working group QA/QC in labs, ICP-Forests and to the Members of Expert Panel Foliage and Litterfall. When a lab did not qualify and did not make efforts to improve the data quality, ICP Forests PCC will send a letter to the National Focal Centre and inform them about the consequence that their data possibly cannot be used for evaluations on an European level.

Some words about the costs - all participants had to pay a participation fee. The exact amount you find on the invetation letter or on the registration page. You will get the debit note with the test samples and the payment of the participation fee must be done before data submission (Data submission page will be opened after we received your participation fee!). Please, indicate the debit number and the laboratory-code number on the transfer order! If somebody really has problems to pay this fee - please, contact me - I will try to find a solution for this laboratory.

Don't forget - if there are changes in responsible person, name, address, phone number and the e-mail address - to correct this information in the database (see Addresses of the labs). For further information about the current ringtest it is important for me to have your correct address.

New participants should send me an e-mail, they will be informed in time about the next Interlaboratory Comparison Test.

If there are any questions or if you need extra support for your lab, please contact:

Michael Tatzber
Seckendorff-Gudent Weg 8, A-1131 Vienna / Austria
Tel: +43-1-878 38 - 1176
Fax:+43-1-878 38 - 1250

*) The owner of this sample material will be in any case BFW Vienna.

05.01.22 | Fürst A.
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