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Optimizing the choice of service crops in vineyards to achieve both runoff mitigation and water provisioning for grapevine: a trait-based approach

Garcia L., Metay A., Kazakou E., Storkey J., Gary C., Damour G.. 2020. Plant and Soil, 452 (1-2) : p. 87-104.

Aims : In vineyards, service crops may increase water infiltration and positively contribute to soil water refilling, but may also increase the risk of competition for water with grapevines which could impair grape yield over several years. This study aimed to test the relationships between service crop functional traits and two related services of major interest in viticulture: runoff control and water provisioning. Methods: We measured the water stock, the cover rate, along with above- and belowground functional markers of 38 plant communities after a winter growing season in an experimental vineyard, to assess relationships between service crop functional markers, runoff control and water provisioning. Results: Both aboveground and belowground functional markers were significant predictors of service provision at the community level. The plant aboveground dry matter content was positively related to soil water stocks and negatively related to the cover rate of the communities, while the specific leaf area (SLA) was positively related to the cover rate. The rooting depth and morphological root traits (specific root length and very fine root fraction) were negatively related with the soil water stock. Moreover, these results agree with ecological theories about the relationships between plant functional markers, plant ecological strategies and resources use. Conclusions: The identification of functional markers related to service provision may help us to select species or communities service crops that could perform interesting trade-offs between multiple services due to a suited combination of related markers, and provide insights for plant selection in order to breed plant varieties and cultivars with the aim of providing agroecosystem services.

Thématique : Ressources en eau et leur gestion

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