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Agronomic Practices for Reducing Soil Erosion in Hillside Vineyards under Atlantic Climatic Conditions (Galicia, Spain)

AuthorsMirás-Avalos, José Manuel; Ramírez-Cuesta, Juan Miguel; Fandiño, María; Cancela, J. J.; Intrigliolo, Diego S.
KeywordsCover crops
Soil erosion assessment
Temperate climate
Vitis vinifera
Issue Date2-Apr-2020
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationSoil Systems 4(2): 19 (2020)
AbstractWater erosion is a severe threat to soil resources, especially on cultivated lands, such as vineyards, which are extremely susceptible to soil losses. In this context, management practices aiming at reducing erosion risks must be favored. This current study aimed at estimating soil losses in two vineyards under Atlantic climatic conditions (Galicia, North West Spain). The capacity of two management practices for reducing soil erosion was tested and compared with tilled soil in the inter-rows: (i) application of mulching, and (ii) maintaining native vegetation. Soil losses were assessed using erosion pins and micro-plots. In addition, the improved stock unearthing method (ISUM) was employed in one of the vineyards to estimate soil remobilization since plantation. Soil loss rates in one of the vineyards were lower when soil was managed under mulching (0.36 Mg ha−1) and native vegetation (0.42 Mg ha−1), compared to tilled soil (0.84 Mg ha−1). Sediment losses measured in the second vineyard ranged between 0.21 and 0.69 Mg ha−1, depending on the treatment, but no clear conclusions could be drawn. Long-term soil loss, as estimated by ISUM, was of the same order of magnitude than that obtained by erosion pins and micro-plots. In both vineyards, soil loss rates were lower than those registered in Mediterranean vineyards, and were below the limit for sustainable erosion in Europe. Nevertheless, soil management practices alternative to tillage in the inter-row might reduce erosion risks under Atlantic climate conditions.
Description© 2020 by the authors.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems4020019
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