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Article

Soil Nitrogen and Weed Biodiversity: An Assessment under Two Orchard Floor Management Practices in a Nitrogen Vulnerable Zone in Italy

1
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari ed Ambientali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
2
Azienda Agraria Didattico Sperimentale, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
3
HORT Soc. Coop., Via Cardeto n.70, 60121 Ancona, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2020, 6(4), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae6040096
Received: 16 October 2020 / Revised: 30 November 2020 / Accepted: 2 December 2020 / Published: 7 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fertilization Management of Horticultural Crops)
Nowadays, understory vegetation along the tree row is considered a vital source of agroecosystem services and functional biodiversity improvement in the fruit orchard. Hence, current orchard floor management systems encourage practicing a more sustainable approach that supports vegetation cover rather than keeping bare soil herbicide use, or tillage. A two-year field trial was conducted using two different ground management techniques; integrated mowing (mower and brush or disc) and herbicide (glyphosate) in two commercial apple and peach orchards in a nitrogen vulnerable zone (NVZ) of the Marche region, Italy. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of these practices on soil N status, weed abundance, percent of soil cover, and dry weed biomass production. Weed management systems had no significant effect on soil organic matter and N availability; however, an improvement was noticed under integrated mowing when compared to the one treated with herbicides. Integrated mowing had a significant effect on species richness, soil coverage, and weed biomass production, which was approximately 2-times higher than in the herbicide-treated plots. The overall results showed that integrated mowing maintained a balance in the soil N status of both orchards, while supporting above-ground weed biodiversity and soil protection. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil management; nitrogen fertility; integrated mowing; herbicide; weed biodiversity soil management; nitrogen fertility; integrated mowing; herbicide; weed biodiversity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mia, M.J.; Monaci, E.; Murri, G.; Massetani, F.; Facchi, J.; Neri, D. Soil Nitrogen and Weed Biodiversity: An Assessment under Two Orchard Floor Management Practices in a Nitrogen Vulnerable Zone in Italy. Horticulturae 2020, 6, 96. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae6040096

AMA Style

Mia MJ, Monaci E, Murri G, Massetani F, Facchi J, Neri D. Soil Nitrogen and Weed Biodiversity: An Assessment under Two Orchard Floor Management Practices in a Nitrogen Vulnerable Zone in Italy. Horticulturae. 2020; 6(4):96. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae6040096

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mia, Md Jebu, Elga Monaci, Giorgio Murri, Francesca Massetani, Jacopo Facchi, and Davide Neri. 2020. "Soil Nitrogen and Weed Biodiversity: An Assessment under Two Orchard Floor Management Practices in a Nitrogen Vulnerable Zone in Italy" Horticulturae 6, no. 4: 96. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae6040096

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