The contribution of mulches to control high soil erosion rates in vineyards in Eastern Spain

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Soil erosion take place in degraded ecosystem where the lack of vegetation, drought, erodible parent material anddeforestation take place (Borelli et al., 2013; Haregeweyn et al., 2013; Zhao et al., 2013). Agriculture managementdeveloped new landscapes (Ore and Bruins, 2012) and use to trigger non-sustainable soil erosion rates (Zemaet al., 2012). High erosion rates were measured in agriculture land (Cerdà et al., 2009), but it is also possible todevelop managements that will control the soil and water losses, such as organic amendments (Marqués et al.,2005), plant cover (Marqués et al., 2007) and geotextiles (Giménez Morera et al., 2010). The most successfulmanagement to restore the structural stability and the biological activity of the agriculture soil has been the organicmulches (García Orenes et al; 2009; 2010; 2012). The straw mulch is also very successful on bare fire affected soil(Robichaud et al., 2013a; 2013b), which also contributes to a more stable soil moisture content (García-Moreno etal., 2013).The objective of this research is to determine the impact of two mulches: wheat straw and chipped branches, onthe soil erosion rates in a rainfed vineyard in Eastern Spain.The research site is located in the Les Alcusses Valley within the Moixent municipality. The Mean annualtemperature is 13 ºC, and the mean annual rainfall 455 mm. Soil are sandy loam, and are developed at thefoot-slope of a Cretaceous limestone range, the Serra Grossa range. The soils use to be ploughed and the featuresof soil erosion are found after each thunderstorm. Rills are removed by ploughing.Thirty rainfall simulation experiments were carried out in summer 2011 during the summer drought period. Thesimulated rainfall lasted during 1 hour at a 45 mmh-1 intensity on 1 m2 plots (Cerdà and Doerr, 2010; Cerdà andJurgensen 2011). Ten experiments were carried out on the control plots (ploughed), 10 on straw mulch coveredplots, and 10 on chipped branches covered soil.The results show that the soil erosion is reduced by 10 on straw mulch covered soils and by 4 on chipped branchescovered soil.AcknowledgementsThe research projects GL2008-02879/BTE, LEDDRA 243857 and RECARE supported this research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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