The soil biodiversity as a support to environmental sustainability in vineyard

The environmental biodiversity is important to guarantee essential services to the living communities, its richness is a symptom of a minor disturbance and improves he environment biological quality. The edaphic communities, in particular, ensure plant development in natural habitats and cultivated land although the human intervention may disturbs their stability and equilibrium. The assessment of soil biodiversity, quite complex for the huge number of edaphic species and the limited availability of simple and inexpensive methods, is useful for estimating soil biological quality and the impact of the human activity. The QBS-ar method assess biodiversity and biological quality of the soil evaluating the microarthropods’ level of adaptation to the soil life. By applying this method, a study was carried out to assess soil biodiversity in vineyards, observe the variability between plots and estimate the influence of soil physical and chemical characteristics on edaphic community.

The study started in 2015 in the Barolo winegrowing area (north-west Italy). The area is characterized by soil homogeneity but wide geospatial heterogeneity, which is why the commercial vineyards under observation were also characterized by this point of view. For each vineyard pedological survey were executed analysing the soil profile, the chemical and physical composition, the soil hydrological constants and the microarthopods community.

In Barolo area, the abundance of individuals and the QBS-ar index showed diversity among the vineyards but were not affected by the weather variability or geospatial variability. It emerged a possible correlation with the physical characteristics of the soil, such as density and porosity; these properties are dependent on the soil texture but they also vary depending on the management practices. The index reveals a good potential for rapid assessment of elements linked to environmental quality although many aspects still remain to be defined including, for example, the relationships with crop management.

Authors: Elena MANIA (1), Mauro PIAZZI (2), Luca GANGEMI (1), Andrea Edmondo ROSSI (2), Fabrizio CASSI (2), Silvia GUIDONI (1)

(1) Departement of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Science, University of Turin, (I) – Lgo Braccini 2, 10095 Grugliasco
(2) Timesis srl (I), Via Niccolini 7, San Giuliano Terme


Keywords: soil quality, soil hydrology, micro-arthropods, QBS-ar, Barolo

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