Influence of agronomic practices in soil water content in mid-mountain vineyards

In the context of LIFE project MIDMACC (LIFE18 CCA/ES/001099), several pilots have been installed in vineyards in mid mountain areas of Catalonia (NE Spain) to test well stablished agronomic practices to increase the adaptation of Mediterranean mid mountain to climate change. Soil water content (SWC) at three different depths (15, 30 and 45cm) was measured in continuum from August 2020. One pilot (WC) included a well-established green cover (GC), a new GC (NC) and a conventional soil management (CM, tilling+herbicides). NC presented an intermediate state between WC and CM, responding similarly to CM in autumn but quickly reaching similar SWC to WC, then following the same evolution till next spring, with CM presenting lower values along autumn and winter. Then vegetation activation decreased SWC in all plots, (much slower in CM, lacking GC). Sensibility to spring rains is again intermediate for NC, which joins SWC evolution of CM by the end of spring till next autumn. It is expected that NC will resemble WC more and more as its GC develops. In the pilot combining vine training (VSP vs Gobelet) and hillside management (slope vs terrace), no clear pattern could be related with these conditions. However, both terraces seem to be more sensitive to spring rains. A third pilot included new vineyards (7 and 1 year old). In the new vineyard (N), higher canopy development, a spontaneous green cover and row straw resulted in a slower SWC dynamic, not so sensitive to rains but conserving more soil water in spring and most of summer, even with presumably a higher water extraction by vines. In the newest vineyard (VN) the deepest sensor is still sensitive to rain events all over the year and SWC is always highest at this depth, revealing small water capture by vines. 

Authors: Felicidad de Herralde, Elisenda Sanchez, Inmaculada Funes, Robert Savé and Xavier Aranda

IRTA, Caldes de Montbui, Spain 


Keywords: climate change, adaptation, Mediterranean, soil management, green cover, training system

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