Implications of the nature of organic mulches used in vineyards on grapevine water status, yield, berry quality and biological soil health
Climate emergency is going to affect the agricultural suistainability, wine grapes being probably one of the crops more sensitive to environmental constraints. In this context, mitigation strategies such as the revalorization of agricultural wastes are paramount to cope with the current challenges. The use of organic mulches has been reported to reduce soil water evaporation and improve vine water status, reduce soil erosion, and increase soil organic matter with little impact on berry quality. However, less is known about their effects on the microbiote of vineyards. The aims of this work were to study the effect of mulches of different nature on grapevine water status and yield, as well as, berry quality and, to assess their impact on heterotrophic bacterial communities. The experiment was carried out in a commercial vineyard in Olite/Erriberri (Navarra, Spain) with cv. Tempranillo. Five different mulches were applied (grapevine pruning waste, almond shell, pine bark, wood waste, and straw), and compared to a control (bare soil).
Results showed that grapevine pruning waste and almond shell mulches tended to improve grapevine water status during berry ripening. However, whereas the former increased yield, the latter decreased it. Treatments did not impact on monitored berry quality parameters. In regard to bacterial diversity, all the considered mulches promoted it comparatively to bare soil.
To sum up, mulches might be a sustainable alternative to improve soil characteristics by means of increasing bacterial diversity, with the subsequent improvement of grapevine performance.
Acknowledgements: This work was funded by Navarra Government (project VALORVIT). N. Torres is beneficiary of a Ramón y Cajal Grant RYC2021-034586-I funded by MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033 and by “European Union NextGenerationEU/PRTR”.
Issue: ICGWS 2023
1 Dept. of Agronomy, Biotechnology and Food Science, Public University of Navarre, Campus Arrosadia, 31006 Pamplona-Iruña, Navarra, Spain.
2 Institute for Multidisciplinary Research in Applied Biology (IMAB-UPNA), Public University of Navarre, Campus Arrosadia 31006 Pamplona-Iruña, Spain.