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Article

Effectiveness of Cover Crops to Reduce Loss of Soil Organic Matter in a Rainfed Vineyard

1
Team Soil, Water and Land Use, Wageningen Environmental Research, Droevendaalsesteeg 3, 6708RC Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Geographer, Independent Scholar, Casa Calvo, 22144 Bierge (Huesca), Spain
3
Unit of Woody and Horticultural Crops, Technological Agriculture Institute of Castilla y León, ITACyL, 47071 Valladolid, Spain
4
Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group, Department of Geography, Valencia University, Blasco Ibàñez 28, 46010 Valencia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2020, 9(7), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9070230
Received: 27 June 2020 / Revised: 12 July 2020 / Accepted: 14 July 2020 / Published: 16 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN))
Cover crops (CCs) minimize the loss of soil in permanent cropping systems where the soil is usually bare due to intense tillage or overuse of herbicides. The topsoil, the richer layer in soil organic carbon and organic matter (OM), is affected by water erosion. Nature-based solutions appear as a suitable option for sustainable farming. In this study, the effectiveness of two years of CC management to reduce the OM loss is evaluated in a rainfed vineyard in a rolling landscape (Huesca, NE Spain). Two sediment traps collected runoff over 15 months. Topsoil OM contents (1.64% and 1.60%) and sediment/soil OM enrichment ratio (2.61 and 3.07) were similar. However, the average annual rate of OM loss was 3.6 times higher in the plot with lower vegetation cover than in the plot with CCs (1.29 vs. 0.35 kgOM ha−1 yr−1). The concentration of OMSed showed a negative relationship with the net soil loss; and significant differences appeared between the OMSed in the months with low and moderate-to-high ground cover. CCs are an excellent nature-based solution to control the unsustainable soil and OM losses measured in vineyards, which will contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. View Full-Text
Keywords: cover crop; vineyard; soil erosion; soil organic matter; enrichment ratio; sediment trap; Mediterranean climate cover crop; vineyard; soil erosion; soil organic matter; enrichment ratio; sediment trap; Mediterranean climate
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MDPI and ACS Style

López-Vicente, M.; Calvo-Seas, E.; Álvarez, S.; Cerdà, A. Effectiveness of Cover Crops to Reduce Loss of Soil Organic Matter in a Rainfed Vineyard. Land 2020, 9, 230. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9070230

AMA Style

López-Vicente M, Calvo-Seas E, Álvarez S, Cerdà A. Effectiveness of Cover Crops to Reduce Loss of Soil Organic Matter in a Rainfed Vineyard. Land. 2020; 9(7):230. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9070230

Chicago/Turabian Style

López-Vicente, Manuel; Calvo-Seas, Elena; Álvarez, Sara; Cerdà, Artemi. 2020. "Effectiveness of Cover Crops to Reduce Loss of Soil Organic Matter in a Rainfed Vineyard" Land 9, no. 7: 230. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9070230

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