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Bulk peat samples should be dried or stored in a cool, dark place.
Do not wrap them in aluminum foil because the acidic nature of the peat will cause it to disintegrate.
For soils and sediments the carbon content varies greatly.
This can be corrected for in calibration using radiocarbon ages of modern (pre-nuclear testing) shells which have been measured for many regions of the ocean.
If at all possible, fragile macrofossils that would not have survived transport are preferred.
If terrestrial macrofossils are not available then humic acids may be the best alternative provided the lake has a reasonably high organic carbon content and the sediments have not been dried out and exposed at times (in that case see Soil above).
Lake Sediments Lakes in 'hardwater' regions may have a radiocarbon age offset from the contemporaneous terrestrial environment.
This 'freshwater reservoir effect (FRE)' can be hundreds of years.
Generally monospecific planktonic samples are selected for this purpose.