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Vineyard management emerges as key stimulant for GHG emissions


Specialty crops like wine grapes thrive across a heterogeneous array of soils in California’s Mediterranean climate. In vineyards, alleys and vine rows are managed separately: alleys support cover crops and tillage while vine rows are treated with herbicide or tilled. This landscape-level and localized heterogeneity presents challenges to determine drivers of N2O emissions from vineyards.

In a recent article in the Soil Science Society of America Journal, researchers report on impacts of precipitation and management practices on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics that lead to nitrous oxide emissions from vineyards over nearly two years. The work involved nine sites on three soil types in California’s Central Valley (Lodi, CA).

The team found that N2O fluxes were highest after the first precipitation event of the wet season, comprising 14% (alley) and 24% (vine row) of total N2O flux. Fertigation and irrigation events contributed to N2O emissions from the vine row. Impacts of soil texture and vineyard zone (alley/vine row) on N2O were mediated by soil water content, temperature and carbon and nitrogen pools.

These findings indicate that event-based measurements in both vineyard zones are critical for constructing biophysical models that reflect GHGs from wine grapes and that support practice-based incentive programs for soil conservation.

Read the full article in SSSAJ.  Free preview April 12 - April 19