Publications

The impact of the age of vines on soil hydraulic conductivity in vineyards in eastern Spain

Alagna, Vincenzo; Prima, Simone Di; Rodrigo-Comino, Jesús; Iovino, Massimo; Pirastru, Mario; Keesstra, Saskia D.; Novara, Agata; Cerdà, Artemio

Summary

Soil infiltration processes manage runoff generation, which in turn affects soil erosion. There is limited information on infiltration rates. In this study, the impact of vine age on soil bulk density (BD) and hydraulic conductivity (Ks) was assessed on a loam soil tilled by chisel plough. Soil sampling was conducted in the inter row area of six vineyards, which differed by the age from planting: 0 (Age 0; just planted), 1, 3, 6, 13, and 25 years (Age 1, Age 3, Age 6, Age 13, and Age 25, respectively). The One Ponding Depth (OPD) approach was applied to ring infiltration data to estimate soil Ks with an α* parameter equal to 0.012 mm-1. Soil bulk density for Age 0 was about 1.5 times greater than for Age 25, i.e., the long-term managed vineyards. Saturated hydraulic conductivity at Age 0 was 86% less than at Age 25. The planting works were considered a major factor for soil compaction and the reduction of hydraulic conductivity. Compared to the long-term managed vineyards, soil compaction was a very short-term effect given that BD was restored in one year due to ploughing. Reestablishment of Ks to the long-term value required more time.