Cover crops and no-tillage show negligible effects on grapevine physiology in mediterranean vineyard agroecosystems

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Zumkeller, María
Yu, Runze
Marigliano, Lauren E.
Zaccaria, Daniele
Tanner, Justin D.
Kurtural, Sahap Kaan



International Viticulture and Enlogy Society
Acceso abierto / Sarbide irekia
Artículo / Artikulua
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This study evaluated the effects of annual or perennial cover crops and tillage regimes on whole grapevine physiology and berry composition. We studied the interactive effects of tillage and cover crops on grapevine water status, leaf gas exchange, components of yield, berry composition and resulting water footprint in two contrasting production regions (Fresno County-hot climate and Napa County-warm climate) of California. The treatments included perennial grass (PG), resident vegetation (RV), and an annual grass (AG) grown under conventional tillage (CT) and no-till (NT) settings. Neither cover crop nor tillage affected grapevine leaf gas exchange. However, at the Napa County vineyard, NT detrimentally affected grapevine water status compared to CT. Grapevine mineral nutrition, when assessed during anthesis, revealed no effects of cover cropping in either year or at either location. Cover crop type did not affect yield components or berry composition; however, CT increased titratable acidity (TA) at both sites. The water footprint of vineyards at either location was not affected by cover crops or tillage. Under our experimental conditions, it was evidenced that both in a hot and warm climate, vineyard cover cropping had negligible beneficial effects on grapevine physiology, mineral nutrition or productivity with no detrimental effects on vineyard water footprint. Furthermore, this study showed that tillage was beneficial in younger vineyards to improve plant water status in semi-arid regions.


Grape composition, Nutrients, Vineyard management, Water status, Yield components


Agronomía, Biotecnología y Alimentación / Agronomia, Bioteknologia eta Elikadura



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Funding entities

A graduate stipend was provided to MZ and JEM from the Department of Enology and Viticulture. MZ has received research support Jastro-Shields Trust to complete her research.

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