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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINABLE VINEYARD PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

Title: Microbial Ecology in Vineyards

Author
item Baumgartner, Kendra

Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 30, 2010
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Citation: Baumgartner, K. 2010. Microbial Ecology in Vineyards. Trade Journal Publication. CAPCA Adviser. 11:42-43.

Interpretive Summary: Soil health affects grapevine health, which, in turn, affects fruit quality. Soil health has chemical, physical, and biological components. The chemical components are the best understood, and there are relatively convenient methods to both evaluate and amend chemical soil fertility. The physical component, which consists of soil strength, aeration, and water availability, is understood, but is difficult to evaluate. Also, methods for improving the physical component of soil health are feasible only during vineyard establishment, and are thus not as convenient as methods for improving chemical soil fertility. The biological component, aside from soil-borne pathogens, is the most poorly understood, in both taxonomic and functional terms. Methods to evaluate the biological component are not convenient. Furthermore, for the majority of microbes that have been identified in vineyard soils, there is not a clear link between their quantities in the soil and a specific aspect of vine health, such as petiole concentrations of Nitrogen. Therefore, manipulating populations of soil microbes and/or their species composition for the purposes of improving vine health is still in the experimental stages.

Technical Abstract: Soil health affects grapevine health, which, in turn, affects fruit quality. Soil health has chemical, physical, and biological components. The chemical components are the best understood, and there are relatively convenient methods to both evaluate and amend chemical soil fertility. The physical component, which consists of soil strength, aeration, and water availability, is understood, but is difficult to evaluate. Also, methods for improving the physical component of soil health are feasible only during vineyard establishment, and are thus not as convenient as methods for improving chemical soil fertility. The biological component, aside from soil-borne pathogens, is the most poorly understood, in both taxonomic and functional terms. Methods to evaluate the biological component are not convenient. Furthermore, for the majority of microbes that have been identified in vineyard soils, there is not a clear link between their quantities in the soil and a specific aspect of vine health, such as petiole concentrations of Nitrogen. Therefore, manipulating populations of soil microbes and/or their species composition for the purposes of improving vine health is still in the experimental stages.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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