Three vigor zones, identified in a Barbera vineyard by remote sensing at full canopy, were carefully ground-truthed to determine, over 2 years, the relative weight of soil factors in affecting within-field variability, and to investigate vigor zone influence on dry matter (DM) and nutrient partitioning into different vine organs. Regardless of season, high vigor (HV) achieved stronger vine capacity as total vegetative growth and yield while resulting in markedly less ripened fruits than low vigor (LV) vines. PCA analysis carried out on ten different soil and vine variables clearly separated the three vigor levels and the correlation matrix highlighted that the factors mostly contributing to HV were soil depth, soil K and P concentration, total available water, clay fraction and Nleaf concentration. Conversely, sand fraction was the main marker for LV. When annual DM retrieved in clusters, canes, leaves, and shoot clippings was calculated for each vigor level and expressed as content (i.e. kg/ha) there was a general decreasing trend moving from HV to LV. However, when DM partitioned to each organ was given on a relative basis (i.e. percentage over total) results were similar across vigor levels. Similarly, when nutrients were given as content (e.g. kg or g/ha) out of 120 within-vigor combinations (12 nutrients, 2 seasons, 5 organs), 65 showed a significant difference between HV and LV. Conversely, with data expressed on a concentration basis (i.e. % DM) the number of significant differences between the vigor level means fell to 15. The study strengthens the causal link between soil properties and intra-vineyard spatial variability and clarifies that patterns of dry matter and nutrient partitioning to different vine organs are mildly affected by vine vigor when referred on a relative basis.
- Spatial variability
- Precision viticulture