Abstract

The relevance of soil threats at affecting yield and grape composition is currently largely neglected as compared to the attention devoted to canopy factors. In this paper, we provide a new soil assessment procedure that, with the help of a web based new decision tool (DT), allows to (i) rate potential soil threats through a computer engine that processes a detailed check list of vineyard and site specific characteristics, (ii) identify which potential threats are valid on the basis of physical and/or analytical vineyard assessment, (iii) propose through a decision engine best soil mitigation solutions according to real threats and (iv) evaluate soil’s threats changes after the mitigation solution’s implementation. All gathered data were also used for a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis and estimation of possible ecosystem services. Traditional (e.g combinations of tillage and native grassing) vs innovative soil management (SM) treatments were evaluated over three years (2017–2019) in nine test vineyards sited in the Parma and Piacenza provinces (Northern Italy). As expected, fraction of real-to-potential threat increased from 22% to 79% with increasing potential threat severity; however, potential threats classified as very likely (red color) had a 55% conversion rate into real threat, suggesting that summer drought and erosion threat assessment require more deepening. Overall, mitigation SM solutions consisting of a sown cover crop in mid-rows with the slashed sward either left on site and piled beneath the row or in temporary winter grassing followed by green manuring improved vine performances as compared to tillage and native grassing. SWOT analysis unleashed that the same SM solutions are wellperceived by growers who are still reluctant to incur additional costs for their implementation. A total ES benefit of 1454 € ha−1, with soil erosion containment accounting for 700 € ha−1, was estimated. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to provide grape growers with a tool allowing objective assessment of real soil threats. Albeit grapevine is taken as use case in this study, the same protocol is valuable in any orchard ecosystem organized in single rows separated by a mid row alley.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)N/A-N/A
RivistaCatena
Volume195
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020

Keywords

  • Cover crops
  • Ecosystem services
  • Grape composition
  • Soil management
  • Tillage
  • Yield

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