Effects of soil management in vineyard on soil physical and chemical characteristics
Departamento de Producción Agraria. Grupo de Investigación en Viticultura. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Ciudad Universitaria s/n. 28040 Madrid, Spain
Cover crops in Mediterranean vineyards are scarcely used due to water competition between the cover crop and the grapevine; however, bare soil management through tillage or herbicides tends to have negative effects on the soil over time (organic matter decrease, soil structure and soil fertility degradation, compaction, etc). The objective of this study was to understand how soil management affects soil fertility, compaction and infiltration over time. To this end, two bare soil techniques were compared, tillage (TT) and total herbicide (HT) with two cover crops; annual cereal (CT) and annual grass (AGT), established for 8 years. CT treatment showed the highest organic matter content, having the biggest amount of biomass incorporated into the soil. The annual adventitious vegetation in TT treatment (568 kg dry matter ha-1) that was incorporated into the soil, kept the organic matter content higher than HT levels and close to AGT level, in spite of the greater aboveground annual biomass production of this treatment (3632 kg dry matter ha-1) whereas only its roots were incorporated into the soil. TT presented the highest bulk density under the tractor track lines and a greatest resistance to penetration (at 0.2 m depth). AGT presented bulk density values (upper 0.4 m) lower than TT and penetration resistance in CT lower (at 0.20 m depth) than TT too. The HT decreased water infiltration due to a superficial crust generated for this treatment. These results indicate that the use of annual grass cover can be a good choice of soil management in Mediterranean climate due to soil quality improvement, with low competition and simple management.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014
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