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Compost mulch effects on soil fertility, nutritional status and performance of grapevine

Pinamonti, F.
Nutrient cycling in agroecosystems 1998 v.51 no.3 pp. 239-248
Vitis vinifera, soil fertility, sewage sludge, composts, nutritional status, field experimentation, soil organic matter, phosphorus, nutrient availability, exchangeable potassium, soil texture, soil water retention, nutrient content, nutrient uptake, soil temperature, evaporation, heavy metals, weed control, vigor, plastic film, Italy
Two composts were tested as mulching materials in a vineyard: one was a sewage sludge and bark compost with a low heavy metal content, the other was a municipal solid waste compost with a higher concentration of metals. Both compost mulches increased organic matter content, available phosphorous and exchangeable potassium of soil and improved the porosity and water retention capacity of the soil. They also reduced soil temperature fluctuations, reduced evaporation of soil water, and influenced the levels of some nutrients measured in leaf samples. The data obtained show that the nutrients uptake was more influenced by the physical conditions of the soil (temperature, moisture) than by the availability of nutrients in the soil. The sewage sludge and bark compost did not cause any significant increase in heavy metal levels in soil and plants. In contrast, the municipal solid waste compost led to a notable accumulation of metals in the soil, in the vegetation and in the musts. Both the compost mulch materials had considerable advantages for the soil management on the grapevine rows, by reducing chemical weed control and allowing for the substitution of chemical fertilisers with no loss in vigour, yield or quality of musts.