terclim by ICS banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 GiESCO 9 GiESCO 2023 9 Vineyard floor management intensity impacts soil health indicators and biodiversity across South Australian viticultural landscapes

Vineyard floor management intensity impacts soil health indicators and biodiversity across South Australian viticultural landscapes

Introduction

Vineyard floors in warm, dry landscapes including those in South Australia, have traditionally been managed using intensive practices such as tillage and herbicides to control weeds and vegetation, thereby limiting competition with grapevines for water and nutrients in order to not compromise yields (Celette et al., 2009). However, due to increasing awareness about the detrimental environmental impacts associated with chemical herbicides, tillage, and resulting bare earth on soil health and biodiversity (Winter et al., 2018; Guzmán et al., 2019), many recent investigations have been made as to the potential of increasing vineyard floor ground cover through the use of sown or spontaneous vegetation in addition to reducing the frequency and intensity of tillage and herbicides (Garcia et al., 2018).

Although there has been a noticeable shift in vineyard floor management towards more extensive and ecological practices in the last two decades, there are differences in the rates of adoption between winegrowing regions and between the mid-row and under-vine row areas in vineyards (Payen et al., 2022). While it has been demonstrated that in some vineyard sites, competition with grapevines for water and nutrients limiting grapevine yield is one of the main factors restraining the use of complete vineyard floor vegetation cover (Karl et al., 2016), this yield discrepancy is not always significant (Giese et al., 2014). Recent investigations of complete vineyard floor coverage systems have been predominantly focused in cool, wet winegrowing regions such as those in the Eastern United States, where many studies have indicated improved provisioning of ecosystem services in addition to more ideal vine balance as a result of these strategies (Vanden Heuvel and Centinari, 2021).

Thus, we propose to investigate how complete vineyard floor coverage is used by commercial vineyards in drier viticultural regions, such as those of Australia, and specifically, we aim to assess how these systems comparatively affect biodiversity and soil health indicators. Findings from another viticultural landscape study in a drier climate in Spain indicated that vineyards with cover crops compared to bare soil had higher soil organic carbon and greater plant biomass; however, this study focused solely on vineyard mid-row areas (Guzmán et al., 2019). Furthermore, a landscape study demonstrated that high mid-row management intensity at vineyards across Austria, France, Spain and Romania reduced plant species richness (Hall et al., 2020). Therefore, it is yet to be determined how plant biodiversity and soil health indicators compare at South Australian vineyard sites across a landscape with different floor management intensities, and in both the mid-row and under-vine row areas. In order to address these questions, a comprehensive investigation at the landscape level of varying intensity levels of vineyard floor management practices used in the Barossa and McLaren Vale regions was conducted to explore the effects on various environmental indicators of biodiversity and soil health.

DOI:

Publication date: June 21, 2023

Issue: GiESCO 2023

Type: Article

Authors

Merek M. KESSER1, Timothy R. CAVAGNARO 1, Roberta DE BEI1, Cassandra COLLINS1,2*

1The University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Waite Research Institute, PMB 1 Glen Osmond, 5064 South Australia, Australia
2ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, Waite Research Institute, PMB 1 Glen Osmond, 5064 South Australia, Australia

Contact the author*

Keywords

vineyard floor management, soil health, biodiversity, management intensity, viticultural landscape

Tags

GiESCO | GIESCO 2023 | IVES Conference Series

Citation

Related articles…

IMPACT OF HARVEST DATE ON THE FINE MOLECULAR COMPOSITION OF MUST AND BORDEAUX RED WINE (VAR. MERLOT, CABERNET SAUVIGNON). FOCUS ON ACIDITY AND SENSORY IMPACT AFTER FIVE YEARS OF AGING

Climate change has brought several impacts that are becoming increasingly intense during the last few years and put at risk the quality of the berries or even the plant’s sustainability. Such extreme climatic events impact the composition of the wine while modulating its quality and the consumer preferences (Tempère et al., 2019). The three most important changes that take place in the must are: 1) decrease acidity, 2) increase of the concentration of sugar, hence increase of alcohol in the wine, and 3) modification
of the sensory balance and the development for example of cooked fruit aromas.

IMPACT OF CLIMATIC ZONES ON THE AROMATIC PROFILE OF CORVINA WINES IN THE VALPOLICELLA REGION

In Italy, in the past two decades, the rate of temperature increases (0.0369 °C per year) was slightly higher compared to the world average (0.0313 °C per year). It has also been indicated that the number and intensity of heat waves have increased considerably in the last decades. (IEA, 2022). Viticultural zones can be classified with climatic indexes. Huglin’s index (HI) considers the temperature in a definite area and has been considered as reliable to evaluate the thermal suitability for winegrape production (Zhang et al., 2023).

A synthesis approach on the impact of elevated CO2 on berry physiology and yield of Vitis vinifera

Besides the increase in global mean temperature the second main challenge of a changing climate is the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in relation to physiology and yield performance of grapevines. The benefits of increasing CO2 levels under greenhouse environment or open field studies have been well investigated for various annual crops. Research under free carbon dioxide enrichment on field-grown perennial plants such as grapevines is limited to a few studies. Further, chamber and greenhouse experiments have been conducted mostly on potted vines under eCO2 conditions.

Microbial ecosystems in wineries – molecular interactions between species and modelling of population dynamics

Microbial ecosystems are primary drivers of viticultural, oenological and other cellar-related processes
such as wastewater treatment. Metagenomic datasets have broadly mapped the vast microbial species
diversity of many of the relevant ecological niches within the broader wine environment, from vineyard
soils to plants and grapes to fermentation. The data highlight that species identities and diversity
significantly impact agronomic performance of vineyards as well as wine quality, but the complexity
of these systems and of microbial growth dynamics has defeated attempts to offer actionable
tools to guide or predict specific outcomes of ecosystem-based interventions.

Searching for the sweet spot: a focus on wine dealcoholization

It is well known that the vinification of grapes at full maturation can produce rich, full-bodied wines,
with intense and complex flavour profiles. However, the juice obtained from such grapes may have very
high sugar concentration, resulting in wines with an excessive concentration of ethanol. In addition, the decoupling between technological maturity and phenolic/aromatic one due to global warming, exacerbates this problem in some wine-growing regions. In parallel with the increase of the mean alcohol content of wines on the market, also the demand for reduced alcohol beverages has increased in recent years, mainly as a result of health and social concerns about the risks related to the consumption of alcohol.