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Effects of soil erosion on agro-ecosystem services and soil functions: A multidisciplinary study in nineteen organically farmed European and Turkish vineyards

Costantini, E.A.C.; Castaldini, M.; Diago, M.P; Giffard, B.; Lagomarsino, A.; Schroers, H.J.; Priori, S.; Valboa, G.; Agnelli, A.E.; Akca, E.; D'Avino, L.; Fulchin, E.; Gagnarli, E.; Kìraz, M.E.; Knapic, M.; Pelengic, R.; Pellegrini, S.; Perria, R.; Puccioni, S.; Simoni, S.; Tangolar, S.; Tardaguila, J.; Vignozzi, N. and Zombardo, A. (2018) Effects of soil erosion on agro-ecosystem services and soil functions: A multidisciplinary study in nineteen organically farmed European and Turkish vineyards. Journal of Environmental Management, 223, pp. 614-624.

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Document available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479718307175


This multidisciplinary research work evaluated the effects of soil erosion on grape yield and quality and on different soil functions, namely water and nutrient supply, carbon sequestration, organic matter recycling, and soil biodiversity, with the aim to understand the causes of soil malfunctioning and work out a proper strategy of soil remediation.
Degraded areas in nineteen organically farmed European and Turkish vineyards resulted in producing significantly lower amounts of grapes and excessive concentrations of sugar. Plants suffered from decreased water nutrition, due to shallower rooting depth, compaction, and reduced available water capacity, lower chemical fertility, as total nitrogen and cation exchange capacity, and higher concentration of carbonates. Carbon storage and organic matter recycling were also depressed. The general trend of soil enzyme activity mainly followed organic matter stock. Specific enzymatic activities suggested that in degraded soils, alongside a general slowdown in organic matter cycling, there was a greater reduction in decomposition capacity of the most recalcitrant forms. The abundance of Acari Oribatida and Collembola resulted the most sensitive indicator of soil degradation among the considered microarthropods. No clear difference in overall microbial richness and evenness were observed. All indices were relatively high and indicative of rich occurrence of many and rare microbial species. Dice cluster analyses indicated slight qualitative differences in Eubacterial and fungal community compositions in rhizosphere soil and roots in degraded soils.
This multidisciplinary study indicates that the loss of soil fertility caused by excessive earth movement before planting, or accelerated erosion, mainly affects water nutrition and chemical fertility. Biological soil fertility is also reduced, in particular the ability of biota to decompose organic matter, while biodiversity is less affected, probably because of the organic management. Therefore, the restoration of the eroded soils requires site-specific and intensive treatments, including accurately chosen organic matrices for fertilization, privileging the most easily decomposable. Restoring soil fertility in depth, however, remain an open question, which needs further investigation.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Grape Soil fertility Soil functionality Agro-ecosystem services Restoration Soil organic matter Microarthropods Enzymes Biodiversity
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Crop husbandry > Composting and manuring
Soil > Nutrient turnover
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Environmental aspects > Landscape and recreation
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries > Viticulture
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic Plus > ReSolVe
Deposited By: Priori, Simone
ID Code:33472
Deposited On:06 Jul 2018 14:00
Last Modified:06 Jul 2018 14:00
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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