Carbon budget of a temperate-climate vineyard - a green future for viticulture?
A common belief is that agricultural ecosystems cannot be net carbon sinks. Indeed, many technical inputs, heavy periodical harvests, and the repeated disturbances of upper soil layers, all contribute to a substantial loss both of the old and newly-synthesized organic matter. Perennial tree crops, however, are managed differently: they establish a permanent woody structure, stand undisturbed in the same field for decades, generate woody pruning debris, and are often grass-covered. We monitored the Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) by eddy covariance and the carbon partitioning in a temperate vineyard in northeastern Italy. A complete year budget confirms a substantial sink capacity of the system, with a NEE around 800 g C m-2 ha-1, with grape harvest representing about 20-25% of it. Biometrical assessment of growth and partitioning show a good agreement with micrometeorological measurements and demonstrate a large input of organic matter into the soil. Temperate-climate vineyards seem to be good candidates to store carbon in agricultural systems. Management practices can be defined to preserve this storage, possibly contributing to the global carbon budget.
Meggio, F. and Pitacco, A. (2016). Carbon budget of a temperate-climate vineyard - a green future for viticulture?. Acta Hortic. 1112, 455-460
grapevine, carbon allocation, eddy covariance, micrometeorology, net ecosystem productivity