Effect of Soil Surface Management Practices and Soil Parameters on Soil Microbiology and Grapevine Performance
Mulidzi, A R
Du Plessis, K R
Conradie, W J
Fourie, J C
Reineke, A J
Factors which affect the activity of the microbial population, and which in some cases undoubtedly have direct effects on root function on vines, include changes in metabolisable substrate availability, water availability, temperature, and the composition of the soil atmosphere. Biological activity also varies from place to place, depending on such soil parameters as strength, porosity and tendency to form a surface crust, thereby limiting gas exchange and infiltration rates. To date the biological composition and functioning of the interfacial layer between root and bulk soil has received minimal attention. Soil surface management practices have been applied in various forms in the past without really having an indication of what impact it has on the soil biology, especially within this layer.
The primary objective of this work is to investigate the effects of common soil surface management practices on the microbiological population of the bulk soil, and at the root / soil interface, on physical and chemical parameters within the soil, and on the performance of grapevines. It is, furthermore, to identify practices which will promote diversity and balance amongst favourable soil microorganisms, increase carbon sequestration and soil organic matter contents, and facilitate consistent growth, yield and disease resistance in grapevines.
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