Mediterranean crops favour high erosion rates. Vineyards use to reach the highest soil and water losses due to the lack of vegetation cover. A topographical approach by means of the use of vineyards poles as fixed reference point as erosion markers allowed to quantify high and non-sustainable soil erosion rates on the Sicilian vineyards during 9 years. In order to develop strategies to control the soil losses, seven land management were selected and applied in a typical blanc wine grape vineyard located in southwestern Sicily. Comparable plots were managed traditionally using conventional tillage and alternatively using various cover crops: 1) Vicia faba; 2) Vicia faba and Vicia sativa; 3) Trifolium subterraneum, Festuca rubra, and Lolium perenne; 4) Trifolium subterraneum, Festuca rubra, and Festuca ovina; 5) Triticum durum; and 6) Triticum durum and Vicia sativa. To estimate the soil losses the C factor of the USLE was calculated. And to monitor the water and sediment yield, Gerlach troughs were installed on the vineyard inter-row. Runoff was measured after each rainfall event from November 2005 to April 2007. Both runoff and erosion were significantly reduced when cover crops of Trifolium subterraneum, Festuca rubra, and Lolium perenne; and Trifolium subterraneum, Festuca rubra, and Festuca ovina were sown. The least effective management systems for soil erosion were conventional tillage and alternative management using the Vicia faba cover crop. Our results suggest that planting the appropriate cover crops provides an effective soil and water management system for Sicilian vineyards which will make sustainable the wine and grapes production under Mediterranean climate conditions.
|Numero di pagine||7|
|Rivista||SOIL & TILLAGE RESEARCH|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2011|
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