Effect of Soil Surface Management Practices and Soil Parameters on Soil Microbiology and Grapevine Performance

Project Number
WW 03-14

Project title
Effect of Soil Surface Management Practices and Soil Parameters on Soil Microbiology and Grapevine Performance

Project leader
Mulidzi, A R

Team members
Du Plessis, K R
Wooldridge, J
Mulidzi, R
Conradie, W J
Meyer, A
Fourie, J C
Jacobs, K
Rosanov, A
Reineke, A J

Project description
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.

Poster(s)
Titus, P H, Du Plessis, K R, Meyer, A H and Jacobs, K. 2011. Microbial community structure in vineyard soil under different management practices. Poster presented at the 47th Congress of the South African Society for Plant Pathology. 23-26 January, South Africa

Presentation(s)
Jacobs, K, Slabbert, E, Caleb, O, Lilly, M, Van Heerden, C J and Du Plessis, K R. 2009. The use of ARISA as tool to characterize microbial communities from the environment. Paper presented at the 47th Congress of the South African Society for Plant Pathology. 23-26 January, South Africa

Thesis
Mathys, I. 2011. Soil health and quality concept in agricultural extension and soil science. An assessment of the topsoil conditions in a long-term vineyard soil management trial in Robertson, South Africa. MSc (Soil Science) University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

FinalReport.pdf

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