Land management aiming to sustain ecosystem services is an important issue, especially in biodiversity hot spots such as found in Mediterranean areas. In Mediterranean areas, viticulture is an important land use. Vineyards are frequently found on inherently poor soils and are submitted to intensive management practices, which threaten soil functioning and associated ecosystem services. To encourage winegrowers and stakeholders to be reflective and adapt their vineyard practices, we evaluated the effects of three soil management practices (inter row plant cover duration, weeding and fertilization strategies) on soil functioning in 146 commercial plots distributed in Southern France, by a complementary set of biological and physico-chemical indicators. We used the concept of soil dynamic quality to evaluate some soil management practices on soil functioning. The influence of inherent soil properties derived from pedogenesis on soil dynamic indicator response was accounted for by considering the response of soil indicators for three soil groups differing in their stoniness and Ca carbonate content. The three soil management practices systematically influenced some nematode-based indicators, whereas other indicators were ascribable to a specific soil type or practice. We demonstrated that the potential of soil management practices to enhance soil functioning is restricted by soil type. In particular for calcareous soils, the soil functioning is very stable limiting effects of soil management practices. The presence of a cover crop, even temporary, in the inter row, is the only practice which benefits soil functioning whatever the soil type whereas organic fertilization and chemical weeding exhibit contrasting results on soil functioning.
Clémence Salomé, P. Coll, Egidio Lardo