The “resources profile®”: a relevant decision and support system for adapting viticultural practices to soils agronomic properties and limiting their environmental impacts

Soil is a three-dimensional complex system, which constitutes a major component of Terroir. Soil characteristics strongly influence vine development, grape oenological potentialities and thus wine quality and style.

Soil profile description by means of pits is essential for a relevant characterization of the soil. However, the interpretation of results is very difficult for non-specialists, as for most of advisors or winegrowers, due to the multitude of parameters and their variability within the soil profile.

We propose here a novel method to represent soil parameters variability, integrating thickness and depth of the different horizons, providing an operational Decision and Support System (DSS) for winegrowers and advisors.

For each parameter, soil profile is represented by a vertical block divided in 10 centimeters layers, in order to highlight the thickness of the different horizons. According to the parameter value, a specific color code, based on analytical references, is applied for each horizon. This method has been applied on different soil parameters : coarse fragments content, clay content, slaking and compaction index, carbonate content, pH, organic content and stock, carbon/nitrogen ratio, cation exchange capacity, exchangeable cations contents, base saturation percentage.

This method, called « Resources Profile® », has been tested on a large number of soil types, representative of soils variability in Bordeaux wine production area (France). It allows to easily visualize soil parameters variability within soil profile and to evaluate agronomic properties, such as hydrological soil properties, organic and calcic status, mineral resources or degradation sensitivities.

We believe that the « Resources Profile® » is a relevant DSS for adapting viticultural practices to soils characteristics and for limiting their environmental impacts. This DSS is likely to facilitate the spread of soil science knowledge to the vinegrowing industry.

Authors: M Christen (1), L Cazenave (1), M Guinoiseau (1), E Beauquesne (2), P Guilbault (1)

(1) Chambre d’Agriculture de la Gironde – Vinopôle Bordeaux-Aquitaine, 39 rue Michel Montaigne – CS 20115 33295 Blanquefort Cedex, France
(2) AUREA Agrosciences, 39 rue Michel Montaigne – CS 20115, 33295 Blanquefort Cedex, France


Keywords: winegrowing soils, soil profiles, soil horizons, soil analysis, agronomic properties, viticultural practices, Decision and Support System

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