12th Needle/Leaf Interlaboratory Comparison Test - 2009/201056 laboratories in 30 countries participated in the 12th Needle/Leaf Interlaboratory Test. With the start of the Life+ project Further development and Implementation of an EU-Level Forest Monitoring System (FutMon) at the beginning of 2009, QA/QC activities are financed for all countries participating in this project.
There is a new system for qualification and re-qualification started with the last test in 2009. Together with the ring test report each participant will receive a qualification report. It has been decided to qualify the results of each parameter separately. If 50% or more (two, three or all four samples) of the results for this parameter for all the samples of the ring test are within the tolerable limits, the laboratory is qualified. Re-qualification is mandatory for laboratories of the FutMon partners and recommended for all ICP-Forests laboratories.
This quality feedback and the following improvement in the practical laboratory work after the 11th Interlaboratory Comparison Test (Figure 1) show here the first positive effect. The results of a lot of participating laboratories are in the 12th Interlaboratory Comparison Test (Figure 2) better than before.
Figure 1: 11th Interlaboratory Comparison Test (FutMon Laboratories) - Percentage of correct results of the mandatory parameters N, S, P, K, Ca, Mg and C (missing values for mandatory parameters calculated as not correct results)
Figure 2: 12th Interlaboratory Comparison Test (FutMon Laboratories) - Percentage of correct results of the mandatory parameters N, S, P, K, Ca, Mg and C (missing values for mandatory parameters calculated as not correct results)
Only the following participants, which have a higher percentage of non-tolerable results (above 20%) of the total results, have bigger QC/QA-problems in their laboratory:
F22 (42.9%), A43 (40.6%), A59 (33.3%), F24 (32.1%), F04 (32.1%), A62 (31.3%), F26 (28.6%), A49 (28.6%), A57 (25.0%) and A42 (25.0%).
A clear improvement in quality for nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, potassium, carbon, manganese, iron and boron can be found. In future, an improvement is needed for sulphur - a mandatory parameter - and for the optional parameter copper.
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