Instructions

  • When you first receive your equipment, there are a few things you need to do to set it up BEFORE you go into the field:

 

  • When you get your Audiomoths you need to update them with these files:

 

  • How to use the Lifeplan app and web admin and upload data:

 

  • General user manual for the camera traps:

 

  • Connecting the 24-hour timer to the cyclone sampler and operating it:

 

  • Import permit to include with soil samples

 

  • IATA special provision A180, which specifies how you are allowed to ship samples containing ethanol by air

 

  • If you accidentally delete the txt file on an audio microSD card, please replace it with one of the below. NOTE that both files must be renamed "CONFIG" in uppercase letters after copying them on the correct cards, or the Audiomoth will not read them.

 

Preliminary plan, to be finalized together with participants:

  • Six years from September 2020 to end of 2025
  • Setup: Selecting natural and urban locations and setting up a 100metre x 100metre plot in one of these. Installing Malaise trap, cyclone sampler, about 5 cameras and about 5 audio samplers (attached to trees).
  • Yearly: moving all sampling equipment from natural to urban location or vice versa
  • Eight times a year during growing season: taking eight soil samples
  • Weekly: one longer visit: changing batteries on all devices (Cyclone sampler runs on car battery), changing sampling tubes on cyclone sampler and Malaise trap, changing memory cards on audio samplers and cameras. Logging and labelling samples. Two quick visits on the two following days to change the tube on the cyclone sampler.
  • At least twice a year: shipping samples to us
Global sampling plan of project LIFEPLAN, University of Helsinki.

Figure 1: Global sampling design. Locations of dots represent the even coverage we are aiming for, not specific desired locations.

 

Hierarchical sampling design for project Lifeplan, University of Helsinki.

Figure 2: Hierarchical sampling design

 

The LIFEPLAN sampling scheme contains 100 global locations (Fig. 1), 50 national locations (25 in Sweden and 25 in Madagascar, (Fig. 2), and two sets (in Sweden and in Madagascar) of hierarchical designs that cover the scales from 100 meters to 100 km (Fig. 2 insets). Here we describe only the global and the national sampling schemes (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 maps), since the hierarchically lower levels (Fig. 2 shaded boxes) will be sampled by LIFEPLAN staff.

As described in section What happens after you join?, the only difference between the global and national sampling schemes is that at the global scale, we will also explore the impacts of urbanization. Hence, for each of the 100 locations spread across the world, we switch between an urban and a natural location on a yearly basis, whereas at the national level, locations remain fixed.

How “urban” the urban site should be, and how “natural” the natural site should remain depends on the types of environments available in the particular area. In some places, the urban location can mean the neighborhood of a village of 100 inhabitants. What matters is that the two sites within the urban-natural site pair differ substantially in their level of naturalness, that they are located some 20-50 km from each other, and that in terms of local conditions, they resemble each other as much as possible beyond their respective level of naturalness.

At each sampling location, you should establish a one-hectare (100 m x 100 m square) sampling plot. The plot should be placed in a habitat type that represents vegetation typical to the area, e.g. a common forest type.

Five types of sampling will be conducted within this area: audio recording, camera trapping, cyclone sampling, Malaise trapping, and soil sampling (Fig. 2). The sampling plot will have a single cyclone sampler and a single Malaise trap, placed near the center of the plot. The sampling plot will also have five camera traps and five audio recorders. These you should place as five pairs, one near the center of the plot and one at each corner. Each pair of a camera trap and an audio recorder should be attached to the same tree. 

Equipment provided

Equipment you provide

  • 2 x 12 V car batteries, or mains power
  • Freezer (preferred) or refrigerator for sample storage

Setup

  • When you receive all the equipment, perform the steps in the Getting Started Manual (download from the top of this page)

Select a place that

  • Is roughly in the middle of your one-hectare plot.
  • Is easy to get to: remember car batteries are heavy. At the same time,  the sampler should be at least 15 metres from any roads to avoid dust from traffic.
  • Has room for the sampler’s wind plate to rotate freely.
  • Has room for the battery to sit next to it protected from rain OR has access to a power supply. If possible, a roof over the cyclone sampler, at 2 metre height, with an area of a couple of square metres, helps protect from rain and will not disrupt sampling.
  • Has level, firm ground: the legs of the sampler should not sink in the ground.
  • Place the sampler so that it is level. Please use a spirit level. This will enable the wind plate to rotate and direct the sampler into the wind.

The sampler comes with crocodile grips for connecting to a 12 V car battery, or you can use the adapter to connect to your mains power supply.

Weekly sampling

(The weekdays do not have to be exactly Monday-Wednesday, as long as they are the same three consecutive days every week.)

On Monday morning, bring a fully charged 12 V car battery. Use the LIFEPLAN app to scan the QR code on the cyclone sampler and then the QR code on the new tube you will put in. In the app, select “place” to start a new sample. Remove and open the cyclone unit. Wearing a glove, screw in the empty tube you just scanned. Store the cap safely. Reassemble and replace the cyclone unit. Connect the battery and listen for the vacuum pump running.

24 hours later, bring another fully charged 12 V car battery. Disconnect the old battery. Remove and open the cyclone unit. Wearing a glove, remove and close the first tube. Take care to use its original lid. Use the LIFEPLAN app to scan the QR code on the cyclone sampler (select “collect” in the app)  and then the QR code on the new tube you will put in (select “place” in the app). Store the new cap safely. Reassemble and replace the cyclone unit. Connect the new battery and listen for the vacuum pump running. Take the old battery with you for recharging.

Another 24 hours later, disconnect the battery. Remove and open the cyclone unit. Wearing a glove, remove and close the second tube. Take care to use its original lid. Use the LIFEPLAN app to scan the QR code on the cyclone sampler (select “collect” in the app). Reassemble and replace the cyclone unit. Take the old battery with you for recharging.

In addition, the car battery providing the energy for the sampler needs to be charged between Wednesday and Monday. The collected vials are stored in a freezer or refrigerator.

Shipment

At least twice per year, post the samples to the LIFEPLAN project team in Uppsala, Sweden: In the shipping documents, describe the samples as: "Air samples for scientific research. No commercial value. Non-hazardous HS-39233010". The declared value should be e.g. 1 euro or 1 dollar. A template invoice is available if you email us at lifeplan@helsinki.fi.

Ship to:

Deirdre Kerdraon
Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet,
Inst för ekologi, Box 7044
756 51 Uppsala
SWEDEN
Phone: (+46) 018671912
Email: lifeplan@helsinki.fi

Alternative arrangements

If you have a long travel time to the site and need to reduce the number of weekly visits, you can

  1. Set up a timer (to be provided upon special request), that cuts off power to the sampler after 24 hours: this way you don’t have to do the third visit but just collect the tube the following Monday.
  2. Only do one sample a week: make sure you contact us before deciding to do this so we can make sure there is no other way. The second sample is valuable, so we want to collect it if at all possible.

If you need a timer or to discuss taking only one sample a week, please email lifeplan@helsinki.fi

Sampling protocol

It is critical that we employ standardized operating procedures for the Malaise trapping. Our coordinated efforts will ensure specimen preservation for sequence analysis and high data quality, permitting the comparison of sites at a global scale. For global standardization with the BIOSCAN initiative, of which LIFEPLAN is a part, we have adopted all the same basic protocols as used in the Global Malaise Program. As a key difference, while in the GMP processing was done on individual arthropods, LIFEPLAN will be based on bulk processing (metabarcoding) of samples. This solution is necessary because of the enormous size of the data to be generated vs the finite resources. At the same time, there is funding to barcode at least 1,000 individual arthropods per site. Through this dedicated initiative, we will help build national reference libraries, as well as contribute to worldwide taxonomic initiatives and to barcode-based identification resources.

Equipment provided:

  • Malaise trap kit including assembly instruction sheet
  • 52x 500ml Collection bottles with QR codes; external and internal labels
  • Pipette rubber bulbs
  • Decanting lid
  • Nitex filters

Equipment you provide:

  • 95% or stronger ethanol, NOT denatured, for preserving samples
  • Ethanol waste container
  • Cooler box: styrofoam or similar
  • Freezer (preferred) or refrigerator for sample storage
  • Clean duster
  • Aluminium foil if possible

Setup

When you receive all the equipment, first perform all the steps in the Getting Started Manual (download from the top of this page).

As our standard Malaise Traps, we use the model “ez-Malaise Trap” manufactured by MegaView Science Co. (Bugdorm), with trap design and kit contents shown at the Bugdorm and BioQuip web pages. Compared to the commercially available design, we have made a few modifications: we use Nalgene bottles and barbed tent pegs, and we have removed the "moth excluder device" (a triangular piece of cloth with small holes, used to keep out bigger insects when focusing on Diptera and Hymenoptera). The support poles at the front and back of the traps have also been upgraded to a sturdier material than in the trap kits sold online. To reduce wear by the pole ends on the cloth pockets holding them in place, we provide pipette rubber bulbs (to be mounted by the LIFEPLAN teams on the ends of the poles before sticking them into the pockets).

The trap should be placed near the center of the one-hectare sampling plot. When mounting, make sure that the collecting part of the trap (i.e. the trap head) is directed towards the equator (north in the Southern hemisphere and south in the Northern hemisphere), and that this is the highest part of the trap (i.e. avoid placing the trap on a downhill slope with the collecting part lowest) (Figure 3). This is because the trap design depends on insects moving towards the highest and lightest part of the trap. When possible, position the trap at a right angle to an insect flight line, in areas with low undergrowth; forest edges or clearings and elevated sites are recommended.  

 

Positioning of Malaise traps relative to insect flight paths. Project Lifeplan, University of Helsinki.

Figure 3. Positioning of Malaise trap relative to landscape edge and southerly direction

Consider possibilities of wildlife disturbance and/or human vandalism – try to avoid either scenario as much as possible; the trap may be relocated if consistent issues persist after deployment. Ensure that all proper specimen collecting permissions are obtained (i.e. from local authorities, property owners, etc.). 

Preparation

Fill one collection bottle 3 / 5 full (~300ml) with 95% ethanol at the time of deployment. Do not substitute with other kinds of alcohol or other preservatives. If possible, wrap the bottle in aluminium foil to protect from the sun. If you find in the following weeks that the ethanol tends to evaporate, increase the amount. If you get so much insect mass that the bottle overflows, decrease the amount.

Deployment

After arriving at your field site, assemble the trap securely, according to the Malaise trap instruction sheet. When possible, tie the front and/or back ropes to nearby trees for added support. Also, if available, attach the trap poles to a 6- to 8-foot stake or post at its highest points to protect the trap against falling over from high winds, especially if it is placed in an exposed area. For further assembly instructions see the YouTube video on this page. 

Attach the QR code sticker to the tent pole - see the second YouTube video on this page.

Tightly affix the prepared collection bottle to the trap head; tie the white ropes on the trap around the bottle to secure it. Begin the collection on a day of the week you can consistently return to for the duration of the sampling period.

Collection & Monitoring

Collect the catch once a week during the insect activity period (i.e. during non-freezing temperatures). Remove the catch on the same day each week. Use the LIFEPLAN app to scan the QR code on the trap, and then the QR code on the bottle you are about to insert. When collecting the previous sample, wipe the trap head with a clean duster, to avoid dead insects remaining between weeks. Then screw on the new bottle with ethanol for the next sample. 

Visit the trap frequently if you can to monitor for and repair damage, and to avoid sample overflow. In particular, check the trap after strong winds or heavy rain. In the event of damage, malfunction or other concerns contact lifeplan@helsinki.fi for maintenance suggestions and replacement parts.

Storage

When in the field, store the sample in a shaded cooler, shielded from light. When back from the field, ideally, place the samples in a standard household freezer (i.e. -20°C) for storage. Ensure that the entire insect mass is fully submerged in ethanol before storage; add fresh ethanol to the sample bottle if needed.  

If a freezer is unavailable, store the samples in a refrigerator or cool, dark location. This is critical to preserve the DNA in the samples; improper storage will result in DNA degradation rendering samples unusable for DNA sequencing (e.g. under constant light, heat or variable temperatures). 

Shipment

Just before shipment, decant off most of the ethanol from each bottle using the decanting lid and nitex filters provided (see video in left sidebar). Thoroughly rinse the nitex filter between samples.  

There is a 30ml ethanol maximum per container for shipment and a maximum total of 1L ethanol per package as per International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations. To follow this protocol, drain the ethanol right down to the insect mass. Shipping 26 samples at a time is recommended. Make sure each bottle is tightly sealed and place them into a plastic bag before packaging in a box.   

Dispatch samples to the Centre of Biodiversity Genomics, Guelph, Canada using cardboard boxes of appropriate size. Contact ccdbcol@uoguelph.ca for further shipment instructions.

Shipment checklist

The first batch of samples should be shipped to CBG after 26 weeks of collecting. Use the checklist below to prepare your outgoing package.

  • Notify ccdbcol@uoguelph.ca, cc: lifeplan@helsinki.fi, that you are ready to ship a package; indicate the number of samples you will include and confirm shipping costs. 
  • Please send a photo of the Malaise trap and its surrounding habitat to lifeplan@helsinki.fi be used for media purposes
  • Determine export requirements from country of origin; obtain all proper permits if needed (Canada does not require import documents for scientific specimens)
  • Prepare the samples for shipment immediately before shipping: decant most of the ethanol from each bottle using the materials provided (see instructions above) and close each bottle tightly to avoid leakage 
  • Place samples in large plastic bag(s) before packaging them into an appropriate sized box
  • Make sure to put a zero (or any permissible minimum) value on the customs declaration form as the samples have no commercial value
  • For the customs declaration, please write 'Insect Specimens for Scientific Study Only (dead), No Commercial Value”. Content description to appear on waybill: “Special Provision A180” 

  • Because the package will contain some ethanol, using a marker, write “Scientific Research Specimens, NOT RESTRICTED SPECIAL PROVISION A180" on the outside
  • Address the package to the following: 

    Kate Perez - Sample Submission 
    University of Guelph 
    Biodiversity Institute of Ontario 
    50 Stone Road East 
    Guelph, Ontario 
    CANADA 
    N1G 2W1 
    Phone: 519-824-4120 x56393

Equipment provided

  • Five AudioMoth 1.0 recorders with waterproof cases
  • Straps for mounting
  • AA Batteries
  • Battery charger
  • microSD cards
  • Memory card reader
  • External hard drive

Setup

The audio recorders will be pre-programmed to record at set periods. The middle recorder will record at bird frequencies continuously for two days a week and then 1 minute in every ten minutes, while the recorders at the corners will record at bird frequencies for 1 minute every 10 minutes and listen for bats in between. The programme is on the micro SD card, so use a micro SD card marked with a red dot for the middle recorder.

Before sampling, follow the steps in the Getting Started guide to update firware and change recording configuration.

Attach the five audio recorders to the same trees as the five camera traps, but higher up. Four recorders should be at the four corners of your one-hectare plot, and one in the middle of the plot. An accuracy of about 10 metres is fine. If there are no trees, please put up sturdy posts where they can be mounted at about 1 or 2 metre height. Please put up appropriate signage by the recorders according to local legislation. Appropriate signage will likely depend on whether you are on private property or in a public space. Note that legislation for audio recording is more strict than for cameras in many countries.

To start the first recording, 

  1. In the LIFEPLAN app, select "Place", and then scan the AudioMoth QR code and the microSD card QR code on the microSD card.
  2. Insert the microSD card in the Audiomoth.
  3. Insert charged batteries.
  4. Set the correct UTC time with the Clock app: switch to DEFAULT mode and play the chime from the app until the green flashing light stops flashing and stays on.
  5. Switch to CUSTOM to start recording. 
  6. Put the recorder in its waterproof case, with the microphone symbol aligned with the grey acoustic vent. Close the case and mount it with the strap.

Weekly sampling

At each audio recorder:

  1. Switch AudioMoth to USB/OFF
  2. Wait for red light to stop blinking. If a green light is on or blinking it is not switched to USB/OFF, please check the switch position.
  3. Remove the microSD card. In the LIFEPLAN app, select "Collect", and then scan the AudioMoth QR code and the microSD card QR code. 
  4. Put the collected microSD card in its adapter for safekeeping
  5. In the LIFEPLAN app, select "Place", and then scan the AudioMoth QR code and the microSD card QR code on the new, empty card.
  6. Insert the new microSD card in the Audiomoth.
  7. Replace batteries.
  8. Set the correct UTC time with the Clock app: switch to DEFAULT mode and play the chime from the app until the green flashing light stops flashing and stays on.
  9. Switch to CUSTOM to start recording. Put the recorder back in its case and mount in place.

When you return from the field, upload the data to us. Follow the steps in "Chapter 4: Upload photos and audio files" in our Software User Manual, which can be downloaded from the top of this page. 

Equipment provided

  • Camera traps: new custom model "4.0C" from Wildlife Monitoring Solutions 
  • Cable ties
  • Batteries
  • Battery charger
  • SD cards
  • Memory card reader
  • External hard drive

The camera traps

The camera traps are motion triggered day and night using a passive infrared sensor and will be set to operate continuously at each sampling plot.

First deployment

Four camera traps will be set up in each corner of your one-hectare plot, and one in the middle of the plot. An accuracy of about 10 meters is fine. The camera traps will be mounted on trees. If there are no suitable trees, please put up sturdy posts (e.g. tree posts used for fences or similar). The tree/post should be sturdy enough to withstand weather and not sway in windy conditions (this might trigger the camera).

Mount the cameras at a height of 0.5 metres from the ground. If there is snow, move the camera up or down accordingly so it starts each week 0.5 m above the snow. If needed, cut down vegetation in front of the camera to give visibility and to reduce false triggering by vegetation moving in the wind. If you feel this camera height is impossible at your location, contact lifeplan@helsinki.fi to work out a solution.

Use the mounting strap to mount the camera to the tree. If your site is insecure and prone to theft, let us know at lifeplan@helsinki.fi and we can supply Python cables for added security. The camera traps should be faced north in the northern hemisphere and south in the southern hemisphere to avoid glare from the sun. Try to choose a place with the least amount of obscuring vegetation, and don't point the center camera at the cyclone sampler and Malaise trap. 

When you have found a good spot, set up the camera with the LIFEPLAN pre-settings (with the Night Mode change listed in the Getting Started manual). The camera trap should be perpendicular to the ground in front of the camera. This will mean a bit of extra work if the tree is on a slope, as the camera will need to be angled either upwards or downwards (down is better, to avoid glare). This can be done with sticks or stones that are found at the site. When you have deployed the camera trap, note down for yourself where the camera trap is positioned so you easily find it again. Make a note if there are any interesting features in the immediate area that might affect detection (for example game trails). Once the camera is running with fresh batteries and memory cards, secure the latch with a cable tie to prevent tampering.

Please put up appropriate signage by the camera traps according to local legislation. The signage may depend on whether you are on private property or a public place.

Good things to keep in mind:

  • Try to choose a tree that looks like it will keep standing the entire study period. The cameras should, if possible, be mounted in the same spot throughout the project.
  • If you are in an open habitat and you put up a post, keep in mind that it might be seen as an excellent scratching post for local wildlife. So try to make sure the post is as sturdy as possible! 
  • Keep an eye out for nearby nests (like ants or termites) that could make maintenance difficult for you. 
  • Keep in mind that the audio recorders will be mounted on the same trees/posts, so there should be some free space above the cameras.

To start sampling for the first time:

  1. In the LIFEPLAN app, select "Place" and scan the QR code on the camera trap and then the QR code on the SD card. 
  2. Check that the camera is OFF.
  3. Insert charged batteries if you haven't done it earlier.
  4. Insert the SD card.
  5. Check that camera is in correct date and UTC time: Turn the camera to SETUP. You should see live picture on the screen. Hold the right arrow button down to see the camera date and time in red text over the screen. If incorrect, Press MENU and navigate to Other > Date/time to correct it. You can find current UTC time conveniently in the Audiomoth app.
  6. Turn the camera trap ON. Strap the camera trap in its tree. It is now motion activated and on, so it will take pictures of you if you walk in front of it. Secure the latch with a cable tie to prevent tampering.

Weekly sampling

Make sure you have enough charged batteries for all the cameras, and that you have a system in place to separate empty batteries from the charged ones. When arriving at a camera, do a quick scan of the camera and the area to check if anything is out of the ordinary. You will be able to note down any anomalies in the LIFEPLAN app (for example if the camera is facing in the wrong direction or is lying on the ground). 

  1. Cut off the cable tie and open the camera. Turn OFF the camera before removing the SD card.
  2. Take out the full SD card. 
  3. In the LIFEPLAN app, select "Collect" and scan the QR code on the camera trap and then the QR code on the collected SD card. Store the SD card in a safe way until you return from the field.
  4. Change the batteries quickly, so that the camera does not forget what day it is.
  5. Use the LIFEPLAN app again to scan the QR code on the camera trap and then the QR code on the new SD card.
  6. Insert the new SD card.
  7. Turn the camera trap ON. Put the camera trap back in its tree, making sure it is facing the same direction as before and is placed at the same height. It is now motion activated and on, so it will take pictures of you if you walk in front of it. Secure the latch with a cable tie to prevent tampering.

When you return from the field, upload the pictures to us. Follow the instructions in "Chapter 4: Upload photos and audio files" in the Software User Manual, which you can download from the top of this page.

NOTE

Root sampling will not be part of the core LIFEPLAN sampling, but will instead be a voluntary, shorter module. Soil sampling will be part of the core protocol.

Equipment provided

  • Disposable gloves (not in first year due to global shortage. We will get gloves to you as soon as we can)
  • Clear plastic bags for mixing soil samples
  • Paper bags
  • QR codes for paper bags
  • Airtight Zip-lock bags
  • Silica gel

Equipment you provide

  • Knife (sharp and strong, at least 5 cm blade)
  • Gardening spade
  • Tablespoon
  • Ruler to measure 5 cm depth
  • Ethanol / flame
  • Cooler box: styrofoam or similar
  • Freezer (preferred) or refrigerator for sample storage

Sampling schedule

At each site, you should take soil samples eight times a year. The eight sampling events should be distributed evenly over the entire plant growing season. Thus, in the Arctic region, the sampling times will be distributed along the few months of plant growth (i.e. the snow-free season), whereas in tropical regions the sampling times will be distributed over the whole year. 

Sampling

Eight times a year, take five compound soil samples, one from the center of the plot and one from each corner, around where the cameras and audio recorders are. Each compound sample is made up of three cores.

To avoid contaminating and cross-contaminating the samples, wear disposable gloves (or plastic bags over your hands) and change them each time when handling soil from a different point. Clean the tools with ethanol or flame between the sampling points.

The soil samples are taken using a spoon and a knife/garden spade depending on the terrain. Brush away the surface debris. Use a knife/spade to cut a 5 cm diameter circle. Use a tablespoon to dig out the resulting core to a depth of 5 cm into a clear plastic bag. Dig two more cores from near the first one (1-2 metre distance) and place all three cores together in the same bag. Mix the soil cores together well and clear the soil of big particles such as stones, litter, wood pieces and plant roots, picking them out with gloved hands. Then take a subsample of three tablespoons of soil into a paper bag with a QR code. Scan the QR code on the paper bag with the LIFEPLAN app. 

Once you have closed the paper bag that contains the soil, you can place it in the ziplock that contains orange silica. Flatten the bag a bit to remove some of the air before sealing it. When the silica turns blue, reopen the bag and swap out the blue silica for orange silica. Repeat this every few hours until the silica remains orange. How long this will take will depend a lot on how humid your soil and environment is. Once the silica is mostly orange, the sample can be placed in the freezer. It is good to leave a bit of silica beads to make sure the environment remains dry. The used silica can be dried  and re-used for other samples. To dry silica, the best way is to bake in an oven at 150 degrees celsius until it turns orange again. It takes a bit over an hour, check periodically.

Shipping

Frequency: after each sampling event is ideal, at least twice a year would be good.
This is only a guideline frequency and you should do what is most feasible for your team considering your transportation and storage conditions.

When preparing the soil samples for shipping, please ensure that the individual paper bags are sealed shut either using the QR sticker or a piece of tape. Please be careful so the paper bags don’t rip. Write your 3 letter site code on the label or the ziplock bag. Place each individual paper bag into its own plastic ziplock. This ziplock should contain some silica. Seal the bag.

If you are not in an EU country: 1) place all 5 ziplock bags in a larger ziplock bag and seal it. 2) print two copies of our soil import permit and place one copy inside the package and one with the other customs/shipping documents. You can download the soil import permit from the top of this page under Downloads. Enclose the necessary export permits as required by your country along with the import permit. The proforma invoice should say "scientific research samples, no commercial value, non hazardous. HS-2530900000" and the value should be 1 € or 1 $ or equivalent in your local currency.

Soil samples packed in labelled paper bags, then placed in ziploc bags, and then all bags inside another ziploc bag. Project Lifeplan, University of Helsinki.

A) QR sticker placement on paper bag. B) Paper bags inside individual ziploc bags. C) Non EU countries: additional larger ziploc bag containing the individual ziploc bags.

Before your first soil sample shipment, contact us at lifeplan@helsinki.fi to arrange how shipping will be paid in your case.

Ship to:
Deirdre Kerdraon
Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet,
Inst för ekologi, Box 7044
756 51 Uppsala
SWEDEN
Phone: (+46) 018671912
Email: lifeplan@helsinki.fi

Cyclone sampling

Cyclone sampler not working / making loud noise

Many cyclone sampler issues are caused by screws having come loose during transportation. If yours is making a lot of noise or is otherwise not working right, try opening it up and looking for loose screws.

Cyclone sampler not working after wrong wire touched the wrong thing:

Try to first rule out the battery and timer as the cause. Try running the sampler without the timer, and then with a new battery. If the sampler itself is still not working, contact us and we will start arranging a fix or replacement.

Audio recording

Audiomoth not recognizing clock setting chime:

This can be either a software glitch or an issue with the microphone. To rule out a software glitch, try reinstalling the new LIFEPLAN firmware (download from our Instructions page), then try the chime again. If that doesn’t work, contact us and we will send you a replacement Audiomoth.

Green and red flashing light after firmware update, possible causes and fixes:

  • The Audiomoth did not hear the chime app while in default mode. Try removing and replacing the batteries then switching the audiomoth in "default" mode and playing the chime again. Once the light stays solid green, switch the audiomoth to custom
  • The CONFIG file on the SD card was not renamed to CONFIG only so the device cannot read it.
  • The SD cards have failed/glitched, try doing a quick format of the card then reinstall the CONFIG file and follow the steps above.
  • The new firmware did not get installed properly: on your computer, open the audiomoth flash app and, remove all batteries and SD cards before connecting the audiomoth to the computer, check in the flash app that the firmware is called "audiomoth_lifeplan_0_1_2". Try reinstalling the firmware. then test the device by following the chime app steps.
  • If none of these fix the problem, do get back to us and we will keep working on finding the solution.

No data recorded by the Audiomoth

  • Reinstall the firmware on the Audiomoth following the instructions in the Getting Started Manual (Downloads section at the top of this page)
  • Format the microSD card (File system exFAT)
  • Put the correct CONFIG file on the memory card (download and see instructions in the Getting Started Guide at the top of this page)
  • If there is still no data recorded, contact us for a replacement

Nextcloud

Nextcloud is not syncing right between the local folder and the server:

Unfortunately due to the large variety of operating systems, local IT department restrictions etc., we are not able to troubleshoot all Nextcloud local client issues. If you have an IT department please contact them, or try the Nextcloud user manual or  support forums. If you still need to ask us for help, please include information about your operating system, and whether you have full administrator rights to the computer or are restricted in some way by your IT department. Screenshots of the problem are helpful.

Nextcloud is full:

  • Check that you did add the share links in the web admin according to Lifeplan Software User Manual steps 4.5 and 4.6 (the manual is available at the top of this page under Downloads)
  • Check your email for messages from us about any Nextcloud folders that failed to delete or failed to transfer. Start by deleting those.
  • Email us a list of the folders that are still in your Nextcloud (we need to know the card ID and the collection date, which should be in the name of the folder) and we will check why they are still on your Nextcloud.