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Abstract Detail


VanVolkenburg, Heather [1], Vasseur, Liette [1], Guinel, Frederique [2].

Understanding the influences of cover crops and agrominerals as soil management alternatives in vineyard’s diversity.

How can our understanding of ecosystem ecology help us implement sustainable management strategies in agriculture? Heavy reliance on agrochemicals and other intensive agricultural practices have led to changes in soil quality and ecosystem interactions. Alternative agroecosystem techniques should attempt to model naturally occurring processes whereby maintaining a diverse array of plants, beneficial invertebrates and microorganisms would support ecosystem functions and services. This research aims to examine how vineyards respond to different soil management alternatives that aim to enhance soil health and promote pest and weed control. The strategies under study include the addition of cover crops and the use of Spanish River Carbonatite (SRC) as an agromineral that helps promote soil fertility. More specifically, we examine how combinations of cover crops and SRC influence functional diversity, soil properties and grape production. In the first growing season, the results showed that plant species diversity can be influenced by which cover crop species are present. Compared to rye grass monoculture between rows, cover crops tended to increase diversity and possibly enemies of pests detrimental to vineyards. Grape composition did not vary among treatments in the first year but, considering changes found in soil microbial community, it is expected that variation will be detected over time.

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1 - Brock University, Biological Sciences, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way , St. Catharines, Ontario, L2S3A1, Canada
2 - Wilfrid Laurier University, Biology, 75 University Avenue W, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3C5, Canada

Cover crops
Soil Health
Functional diversity.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 2, Ecology Section - Functional Traits and Responses
Location: 104/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 8:15 AM
Number: 2002
Abstract ID:409
Candidate for Awards:Cinq Mars Award

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