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Beverages 2018, 4(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages4020031

Soil Erosion as an Environmental Concern in Vineyards: The Case Study of Celler del Roure, Eastern Spain, by Means of Rainfall Simulation Experiments

1
Department of Geography, Instituto de Geomorfología y Suelos, University of Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain
2
Soil, Water and Land Use Team, Wageningen Environmental Research, Wageningen UR, 6708PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
3
Civil, Surveying and Environmental Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan 2308, Australia
4
Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 6 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viticulture for Wine Production)
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Abstract

Soil erosion in vineyards is considered as an environmental concern as it depletes soil fertility and causes damage in the fields and downstream. High soil and water losses decrease soil quality, and subsequently, this can reduce the quality of the grapes and wine. However, in specialized journals of viticulture and enology, soil erosion studies are not present. This paper surveys the soil erosion losses in the vineyards of Celler del Roure, Eastern Spain, as an example of Mediterranean vineyards. We applied rainfall simulation experiments (10 plots) using a small portable rainfall simulator and 55 mm h−1 in one hour to characterize soil erodibility, runoff discharge, and soil erosion rates under low-frequency–high-magnitude rainfall events at different positions along the vine inter-row areas. We found that 30% of the rainfall was transformed into superficial runoff, the sediment concentration was 23 g L−1, and the soil erosion rates reached 4.1 Mg ha−1 h−1; these erosion rates are among the highest found in the existing literature. We suggest that the vineyard management should be improved to reduce land degradation, and also should be shifted to sustainable agricultural production, which could improve grape and wine quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil loss; terroir; simulated rainfall; sustainability; Mediterranean viticulture soil loss; terroir; simulated rainfall; sustainability; Mediterranean viticulture
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Rodrigo-Comino, J.; Keesstra, S.; Cerdà, A. Soil Erosion as an Environmental Concern in Vineyards: The Case Study of Celler del Roure, Eastern Spain, by Means of Rainfall Simulation Experiments. Beverages 2018, 4, 31.

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