FSFN: Forest Soil Fauna Network: Collembola, Flanders Belgium

Sampling event
Latest version published by Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) on Jun 20, 2024 Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 47 records in English (28 KB) - Update frequency: not planned
Metadata as an EML file download in English (19 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (16 KB)


In the period 1997-1998, the Flemish Forest Service funded a study (B&G/29/98) that initiated a region-wide soil fauna survey by a consortium of three Universities (RuG, KuL and UA; now University of Ghent, KU Leuven and University of Antwerp) and two Research Institutes (IBW and RBINS; now INBO and RBINS ) . The survey was conducted on 56 well selected forest plots representative for all forest- and soil types in Flanders Region.

The goals of the study were (1) to assess the diversity of soil dwelling organisms (soil fauna) across Flanders’ forests; (2) to look for bioindicators for forest soil quality and (3) to explore if a biological forest soil classification system based on soil fauna composition could be designed. Recognizing the critical role of soil organisms in ecosystem functioning (e.g. nutrient cycling), the study sought to establish a link between soil biodiversity and soil condition. Here we publish the Collembola data sampled in this initial project, as a T0. Over time, other organism groups and soil bioindicators were assessed on the same FSFN plots by various studies. However, 25 years later, all plots are getting resurveyed by the studies ‘FOURCAST’ and ‘Biota4C’ following the same sampling schemes and methodologies as in the initial project. Therefore we wish to publish all initial datasets in order to compare them with the recent findings. All published data can be retrieved using collectionCode ‘FSFN’

Issues with the dataset can be reported at https://github.com/inbo/data-publication-fsfn/issues

We have released this dataset to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver. We would appreciate it if you follow the INBO norms for data use (https://www.inbo.be/en/norms-data-use) when using the data. If you have any questions regarding this dataset, don't hesitate to contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata or via opendata@inbo.be.

For all published Soil classification datasets, see https://www.gbif.org/dataset/search?project_id=fsfn

Data Records

The data in this sampling event resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 47 records.

1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Event (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

De Bruyn L, De Vos B, Brosens D, Jacobs W, Janssens F (2024). FSFN: Forest Soil Fauna Network: Collembola, Flanders Belgium. Version 1.7. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). Samplingevent dataset. https://ipt.inbo.be/resource?r=fsfn-collembola-occurrence&v=1.7


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 866f2cc9-781d-4a7f-9f0c-aa3d33671715.  Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Belgian Biodiversity Platform.


Samplingevent; Specimen; soil; fauna; indicator


Luc De Bruyn
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) / University of Antwerp
Bruno De Vos
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Dimitri Brosens
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • User
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Wim Jacobs
  • Originator
University of Antwerp
Frans Janssens
  • Originator
University of Antwerp

Geographic Coverage

Flanders, Belgium

Bounding Coordinates South West [51.14, 3.7], North East [51.26, 3.79]

Taxonomic Coverage

A total of 2068 individuals were identified. They belonged to 41 species Collembola, of which 5 new to the fauna of Belgium. , ,

Kingdom Animalia
Order Collembola

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1997-05-01 / 1997-05-30

Project Data

The project aimed to develop bioindicators and a biological classification system for forest soils based on soil fauna composition in Flanders region. Recognizing the critical role of soil organisms in ecosystem functioning, the study sought to establish a link between soil biodiversity and soil condition.

Title Forest soil bio-indication through Collembola in Flanders, Belgium
Identifier BNG/15/96
Funding Flemish Government (project Aminal B&G/15/96 in Flemish forests)
Study Area Description Flanders, Belgium

The personnel involved in the project:

Bruno De Vos

Sampling Methods

For the investigation of Collembola, soil (pitfall) traps were utilized. Due to feasibility, low juvenile numbers, and the limited seasonality of Collembola (Ponge, 1993), the study was confined to spring samples. Soil traps selectively capture only those species that are actively moving on the substrate. Collembola were preserved in 70% alcohol. Identification was carried out using a stereomicroscope and a standard microscope with magnifications ranging from 200x to 600x. Specimen identification was done using keys provided by Stach (1955), Gisin (1960), Palissain et al. (1964), and Fjellberg (1980, 1998).

Study Extent Representatives of the class Collembola are among the most common and widespread terrestrial arthropods. Their role in the decomposition process contributes to long-term soil quality (Hopkin, 1997). The binding to the soil ecosystem and their low mobility makes them sensitive to changes in the soil ecosystem. Collembola are increasingly being prioritized as sensitive indicators of environmental changes. Because Collembola occur in very many different habitats (Christiansen & Bellinger, 1995), they are well suited for comparing different ecosystems.
Quality Control Data were collected using a predefined sampling protocol.

Method step description:

  1. Researchers defined the appropriate sampling protocol for the target species.
  2. Fieldwork was planned and coordinated by the University of Antwerp (previously named RUCA), using the designed sampling protocol.
  3. Researchers entered the collected data in a digital way (old spreadsheets).
  4. A custom R script is created to transform the plot data and map the original data to Darwin Core as an event core and occurrence extensio.
  5. The Darwin Core views are connected to the INBO IPT and documented with metadata.
  6. The dataset is published and registered with GBIF.

Collection Data

Collection Name Collembola collection of Luc De Bruyn

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Hopkin, S.P. (1997) Biology of springtails. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  2. Stach, J. (1955) Klucze do oznaczania owadów Polski. Part IL. Collembola. Polski Zwiazek Entomologiczny, Warszawa.
  3. Gisin, H. (1960) Collembolenfauna Europas. Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Genève.
  4. Fjellberg, A. (1980) Identification keys to Norwegian Collembola. Norsk Entomologisk Forening, Ás.
  5. Fjellberg, A. (1998) The Collembola of Fennoscandia and Denmark Part I: Poduromorpha. Fauna. Ent. Brill, Leiden.
  6. Ponge, J.F. (1993) Biocenoses of Collembola in atlantic temperate grass-woodland ecosystems. Pedobiologia. 37: 223-244.
  7. Christiansen, K. & Bellinger, P. (1995) The biogeography of Collembola. PolPismo Entomol. 64: 279-294,
  8. De Bruyn et all (1997) Bosbodemclassificatie door middel van bodemfauna

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers 866f2cc9-781d-4a7f-9f0c-aa3d33671715