Special Issue "Soil Quality Assessed for Viti- and Horticulture"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant–Soil Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Dénes Lóczy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Physical and Environmental Geography, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Pécs, Hungary
Interests: floodplain geomorphology and geoecology; anthropogeomorphology; landscape rehabilitation (with special regard to river floodplains); agricultural land evaluation; plant/environment interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The physical properties of soils are highly relevant to crop production. In addition to arable crops, plant support, root penetration, drainage, aeration, moisture retention, and plant nutrients are also important in vineyards and horticultural fields. Physical properties such as the amount, size, shape, arrangement, and mineral composition of particles also influence the chemical characteristics and microbial life in the soil. The soil organic matter and nutrient contents can be evaluated against several physical properties (texture, structure, porosity, permeability, and color) to reveal their significance in yield and crop quality indicators. Soil analyses could describe an important component of the terroir for vine, various fruits, and vegetables. Long-term monitoring of the relationships between soil properties and horticultural crop yields could provide valuable information for precision horticulture. The irrigation and fertilization needs of different fruit tree varieties should also be investigated.

Prof. Dr. Dénes Lóczy
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • soil properties
  • yield
  • crop quality
  • terroir
  • grapevine
  • fruit trees
  • vegetables

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Response of Horticultural Soil Microbiota to Different Fertilization Practices
Plants 2020, 9(11), 1501; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111501 - 06 Nov 2020
Viewed by 716
Abstract
Environmentally friendly agricultural production necessitates manipulation of microbe–plant interactions, requiring a better understanding of how farming practices influence soil microbiota. We studied the effect of conventional and organic treatment on soil bacterial richness, composition, and predicted functional potential. 16S rRNA sequencing was applied [...] Read more.
Environmentally friendly agricultural production necessitates manipulation of microbe–plant interactions, requiring a better understanding of how farming practices influence soil microbiota. We studied the effect of conventional and organic treatment on soil bacterial richness, composition, and predicted functional potential. 16S rRNA sequencing was applied to soils from adjacent plots receiving either a synthetic or organic fertilizer, where two crops were grown within treatment, homogenizing for differences in soil properties, crop, and climate. Conventional fertilizer was associated with a decrease in soil pH, an accumulation of Ag, Mn, As, Fe, Co, Cd, and Ni; and an enrichment of ammonia oxidizers and xenobiotic compound degraders (e.g., Candidatus Nitrososphaera, Nitrospira, Bacillus, Pseudomonas). Soils receiving organic fertilization were enriched in Ti (crop biostimulant), N, and C cycling bacteria (denitrifiers, e.g., Azoarcus, Anaerolinea; methylotrophs, e.g., Methylocaldum, Methanosarcina), and disease-suppression (e.g., Myxococcales). Some predicted functions, such as glutathione metabolism, were slightly, but significantly enriched after a one-time manure application, suggesting the enhancement of sulfur regulation, nitrogen-fixing, and defense of environmental stressors. The study highlights that even a single application of organic fertilization is enough to originate a rapid shift in soil prokaryotes, responding to the differential substrate availability by promoting soil health, similar to recurrent applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Quality Assessed for Viti- and Horticulture)
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Article
Spatial Differentiation of Physical and Chemical Soil Parameters under Integrated, Organic, and Biodynamic Viticulture
Plants 2020, 9(10), 1361; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9101361 - 14 Oct 2020
Viewed by 877
Abstract
Vineyard soils show an increased risk of degradation due to being intensively cultivated. The preservation of soil integrity and fertility is a key concept of organic and biodynamic farming. However, both systems are also subject to criticism due to their higher amount of [...] Read more.
Vineyard soils show an increased risk of degradation due to being intensively cultivated. The preservation of soil integrity and fertility is a key concept of organic and biodynamic farming. However, both systems are also subject to criticism due to their higher amount of plant protection products used and their increased traffic intensity compared to integrated viticulture, both detrimental to soil quality. The aim of this study was therefore to assess long-term effects of these three management systems on chemical and physical soil quality parameters. For this purpose, topsoil samples were taken in a long-term field trial vineyard at different positions and examined for bulk density, available water capacity (AWC), soil organic carbon (SOC), N, pH, and for total and bioavailable copper (Cu) concentrations. Biodynamic plots had a lower bulk density and higher SOC concentration than the integrated ones, which is probably due to the species-rich cover crop mixture used in the inter-row. However, organic and biodynamic farming showed an accumulation of copper in the under-vine area and in the tractor track, which is problematic for soil fertility in the long-term. Therefore, alternatives for copper in plant protection are necessary to ensure sustainable soil quality through organic and biodynamic viticulture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Quality Assessed for Viti- and Horticulture)
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Article
The Characteristics of the Growth and the Active Compounds of Angelica gigas Nakai in Cultivation Sites
Plants 2020, 9(7), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070823 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 517
Abstract
The active compounds of medicinal plants vary in composition and content depending on environmental factors, such as light, temperature, and soil. According to the Korean Pharmacopoeia standards for herbal medicine, the sum of nodakenin, decursin, and decursinolangelate, which are the marker components of [...] Read more.
The active compounds of medicinal plants vary in composition and content depending on environmental factors, such as light, temperature, and soil. According to the Korean Pharmacopoeia standards for herbal medicine, the sum of nodakenin, decursin, and decursinolangelate, which are the marker components of Korean Angelica, should be at least 6.0 g/100 g. However, the content of the components in Korean Angelica cultivated in South Korea often fall below 6.0 g/100 g, due to weather conditions and cultivation site characteristics. This study aimed to gather information about environmental factors that affect the root growth and the content of active compounds. In total, 18 cultivation sites in Pyeongchang, Jecheon, and Bonghwa regions in Korea were investigated for this study. Environmental factors, such as the monthly mean temperature, mean relative humidity, duration of sunshine, total precipitation, soil acidity, and the characteristics of soil nutrient, were investigated over the growing season from April to October 2017. As for the growth characteristics, the dry weight of roots of Korean Angelica was measured. The sum of the contents of the three active compounds was 5.3–7.0 g/100 g and the nodakenin content was 0.3–1.3 g/100 g in the cultivation sites. This study concludes that the root yields in the cultivation sites would be improved if weather conditions are maintained with similar levels as those in their natural habitats. Additionally, the environment that improves root growth did not increase the content of active compounds; however, when there was a lot of gravel or high temperatures during the growth period, the content of active compounds was relatively high. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Quality Assessed for Viti- and Horticulture)
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