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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINABLE VINEYARD PRODUCTION SYSTEMS Title: Vineyard Floor Management Strategies Affect Soil Properties & Microbiology, Water Relations, and Crop Nutrition

Authors
item Smith, Richard - UC COOP EXT, SALINAS,CA
item Bettiga, Larry - UC COOP EXT, SALINAS,CA
item Cahn, Michael - UC COOP EXT, SALINAS, CA
item Baumgartner, Kendra
item Jackson, Louise - DEPT OF LAWR, UC DAVIS
item Bensen, Tiffany - UC COOP EXT, SALINAS, CA

Submitted to: California Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2007
Publication Date: January 1, 2008
Citation: Smith, R.F., Bettiga, L., Cahn, M., Baumgartner, K., Jackson, L., Bensen, T. 2008. VINEYARD FLOOR MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES AFFECT SOIL PROPERTIES & MICROBIOLOGY, WATER RELATIONS, AND CROP NUTRITION. California Agriculture. 62:184-190.

Interpretive Summary: A long-term comparison of several vineyard floor management practices (weed control and cover crops) was carried out in a California vineyard in order to evaluate their impact on grapevine nutrition, soil microbial ecology, and water runoff. The weed control treatments, which consisted of two types of herbicides (pre-emergence and post-emergence) and mechanical cultivation of the soil, had no impact on soil microbial biomass, but had a significant interactive effect with the rye cover crop on mycorrhizal colonization of grapevine roots, presumably due to differential effects on the composition of weed species that also host mycorrhizal fungi. Cover crop treatments, which consisted of rye or triticale (a rye-wheat hybrid) compared to a no-cover cropped control (bare soil) increased soil microbial biomass in the row middles, and there is some evidence that they may increase microbial biomass in adjacent vine rows. Cover crops increased soil organic matter and reduced levels of soil nitrate and phosphorus, which can help reduce losses of these nutrients in runoff.

Technical Abstract: A long-term comparison of various vineyard floor management practices (weed control and cover crops) indicates that weed control treatments had no impact on soil microbial biomass, but had a significant interactive effect with the rye cover crop on mycorrhizal colonization of grapevine roots, presumably due to differential effects on the composition of weed species that also host mycorrhizal fungi. Cover crops increased soil microbial biomass in the row middles and there is some evidence that they may increase microbial biomass in adjacent vine rows. Cover crops increased soil organic matter and reduced levels of soil nitrate and phosphorus, which can help reduce losses of these nutrients in runoff.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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