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Long-term soil biological fertility, volatile organic compounds and chemical properties in a vineyard soil after biochar amendment

Giagnoni, Laura, Maienza, Anita, Baronti, Silvia, Vaccari, Francesco Primo, Genesio, Lorenzo, Taiti, Cosimo, Martellini, Tania, Scodellini, Roberto, Cincinelli, Alessandra, Costa, Corrado, Mancuso, Stefano, Renella, Giancarlo
Geoderma 2019 v.344 pp. 127-136
biochar, climate, crop residues, field experimentation, pest control, physicochemical properties, plant cultural practices, soil amendments, soil degradation, soil quality, tillage, vineyard soils, vineyards, viticulture, volatile organic compounds, weeds, wines
The agronomic management of vineyards, aimed at the maximization of grape yields, is intensive and includes repeated tillage, crop residues removal, strict weed and pest control treatments. In viticulture, healthy soils and a suitable climate are the key factors that influence the quality of the produced wine. Even under intensive agronomic practices, typical of conventional viticulture, the choice of appropriate soil management strategies can preserve soil quality in the long term. The use of biochar as soil amendment has been suggested as a potential practice that allows restoration of the functionality of degraded soils in terms of water retention, chemical and biological fertility. In this paper we report the results of a long field trial on biochar amendment of a vineyard, assessing the impact on soil functionality, VOC emission and fertility. Our results show that biochar effects on soil functions and fertility are maintained in the long term (seven years) after a one-time application.