The effect of different management techniques for plant control in the vineyard were compared in the present work, focusing on plant diversity preservation and management efficacy in a two-year experiment on vineyard row weed community. Biomass-fueled flame weeding (with two intensities) was applied as an innovative plant control technique in contrast to tillage and mowing practices. The results showed that flaming was comparable to tillage regarding weed control effectiveness, and was more efficient than mowing. However, species number and functional evenness were not substantially modified by changing the applied management technique. Functional trait analysis demonstrated that row management significantly affected the frequency of annual plants, plant height, root depth index, and the occurrence of plants with storage organs. As for species composition, meaningful differences were found: only the two flaming treatments (i.e. gentle vs intense) and the gentle flaming vs mowing had consistent species composition. Flame wedding showed some potential benefits in plant control in the vineyard by favouring small plant and controlling overall weed abundance. On the other hand, flaming favoured plant species with asexual reproduction, with a potential negative impact on weed-vine competition and species persistence in the vineyard. Further studies are required to investigate such contrasting aspects, also considering other weed control techniques (e.g. cover-crops), considering a sustainable perspective of an herbicide-free environment.

Comparison between flaming, mowing and tillage weed control in the vineyard: Effects on plant community, diversity and abundance

Mainardis, Matia
Primo
;
Boscutti, Francesco
Secondo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Pergher, Gianfranco
Ultimo
2020-01-01

Abstract

The effect of different management techniques for plant control in the vineyard were compared in the present work, focusing on plant diversity preservation and management efficacy in a two-year experiment on vineyard row weed community. Biomass-fueled flame weeding (with two intensities) was applied as an innovative plant control technique in contrast to tillage and mowing practices. The results showed that flaming was comparable to tillage regarding weed control effectiveness, and was more efficient than mowing. However, species number and functional evenness were not substantially modified by changing the applied management technique. Functional trait analysis demonstrated that row management significantly affected the frequency of annual plants, plant height, root depth index, and the occurrence of plants with storage organs. As for species composition, meaningful differences were found: only the two flaming treatments (i.e. gentle vs intense) and the gentle flaming vs mowing had consistent species composition. Flame wedding showed some potential benefits in plant control in the vineyard by favouring small plant and controlling overall weed abundance. On the other hand, flaming favoured plant species with asexual reproduction, with a potential negative impact on weed-vine competition and species persistence in the vineyard. Further studies are required to investigate such contrasting aspects, also considering other weed control techniques (e.g. cover-crops), considering a sustainable perspective of an herbicide-free environment.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/1189447
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