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Biodiversity effects on grape quality depend on variety and management intensity

Citation

Steiner, Magdalena; Grace, James Benjamin; Bacher, Sven (2021), Biodiversity effects on grape quality depend on variety and management intensity , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.z8w9ghx83

Abstract

Interactions between plants can be beneficial, detrimental or neutral. In agricultural systems competition between crop and spontaneous vegetation is a major concern. We evaluated the relative support for three non-exclusive ecological hypotheses about interactions between crop and spontaneous plants based on competition, complementarity or facilitation.

The study was conducted in Swiss vineyards with different vegetation management intensities. Thirty-three vineyards planted with two different grape varieties were studied over 3 years to determine whether low-intensity vegetation management might provide benefits for grape quality parameters. Management intensity varied with the degree of control of spontaneous inter-row vegetation. Features of spontaneous vegetation measured included total cover, total species richness and abundance of nitrogen fixing plants. Grape quality parameters of known importance to wine-making (yeast assimilable nitrogen, sugars, tartric acid, and malic acid) were determined by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Using structural equation modeling, we evaluated hypotheses about the multivariate responses of grape quality parameters as well as the direct and indirect (plant-mediated) effects of management. 

Observed effects of management differed between grape varieties. Management intensity and abundance of N-fixing plants significantly influenced grape quality parameters, while total richness of spontaneous plants did not have detectable effects. Abundance of N-fixing plants was enhanced by low-intensity management resulting in increased N content in the red grape variety (Pinot noir), potentially enhancing grape quality, while measured soil N content did not explain the increase.

Synthesis: Our study shows that crop quality can be enhanced by spontaneous plants, in this case by the abundance of a key functional group (N-fixers), most likely through plant-plant or plant-microbe facilitation. However, beneficial interactions may have a high specificity in terms of facilitation partners and may have contrasting effects at low taxonomic resolutions such as crop varieties. Generally increasing plant biodiversity in agricultural systems may increase competition with crops. Thus, the identification of suitable interaction partners and a careful balance between crop variety and spontaneous plant species may be necessary to utilize beneficial interactions and to reduce the trade-off between agricultural production and biodiversity to achieve a sustainable ecological benefit in agricultural systems.

Usage Notes

Name data file:
"Management and grapes"

Attached R code ("Grape_qualities_rawdata_prep_archive") decribes the preprocessing of thr raw data before analysis.

Keywords: "grape qualities", "ecological intensification", "YAN", "facilitation", "non-crop plants", "management intensity"

Authors:

Steiner, Magdalena
magdalena.steiner1@hotmail.com
Affiliation:
University of Fribourg, Ecology and Evolution, Department of Biology, Ch. du Musée 10, CH-1700 Fribourg

Grace, James B.
gracej@usgs.gov
Affiliation:
US Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, 70506, Louisiana, USA
shared senior authorship

Bacher, Sven
sven.bacher@unifr.ch
Affiliation:
University of Fribourg, Ecology and Evolution, Department of Biology, Ch. du Musée 10, CH-1700 Fribourg


Description of the data

The data sheet contains raw untransformed data from three sampling years (2015-2017). The year of sampling is indicated as a suffix to the column name.
Data describes measured grape quality parameters measured from Grape juice and variables describing viticultural ground management.
Columns:
"site" = number of vineyard site identification
Grape Qualities columns: parameter were measured by FTIR analysis of grape juice
"sug"    = a measure of grape sugar content; measured by refractometer in °Oechsle
"pH"     = measured pH
"TotA"   = describes total acidity
"TartA"  = amount of tartric acid (g/l)
"Malic"  = amount of malic acid (g/l)
"Grape_N"= amount of yeast available nitrogen (YAN) as (mg/l)

Other variables
"pinot"       = dummy variable describing whether site belongs to the grape variety Pinot noir (=1) or Chasselas (=0)
"treatment"   = indicates the ground treatment within the vineyard Rem = vegetation removal, AltR = vegetation removal in every other row and NoR = no removal of vegetation
"disturbance" = assigned level of disturbance (= management intensity); derived from treatment
"soil_N"      = total soil N in percent measured in vineyard soil sample; Dumas Combustion method; analysed by CNS-Elemental analyser
"plantsdiv"   = averaged number of plant species assessed within 1m^2 on each row (n=2) in 5 surveys
"plantscov"   = averaged percentage of plant cover assessed within 1m^2 on each row (n=2) in 5 surveys
"covNfix"     = averaged percentage of legume (N-fixing plants) plant cover assessed within 1m^2 on each row (n=2) in 5 surveys
"longitude" & "latitude"  = x, y coordinates indicates site location


Funding: European joint project PromESSinG  (Promoting  Ecosystem  Services  in  Grapes),  funded through the 2013-2014 BiodivERsA/FACCE-JPI joint call for research proposals and the Swiss National Science Foundation [Grant Number 40FA40_158390]

Funding

BiodivERsA/FACCE-JPI

Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Award: [Grant Number 40FA40_158390]

BiodivERsA/FACCE-JPI