Lithology, landscape structure and management practice changes: Key factors patterning vineyard soil erosion at metre-scale spatial resolution

Abstract : In vineyards, soil erosion is controlled by complex interactions between geomorphological and anthropogenic factors, leading to intra-plot spatial topsoil heterogeneities that are observed at a 1-m scale. This study explores the relative impacts of slope, lithology, historical landscape structure and present-day management practices on soil erosion on vineyard hillslopes. The selected plot is located in the Monthelie vineyard hillslopes (Côte de Beaune, France), where intensive erosion occurs during high-intensity rainfall events. Soil erosion quantification was performed at a square metre scale using dendrogeomorphology. For the same plot, planted in 1972, an initial erosion map was drawn in 2004, with a second map being produced in 2012. These two maps, combined with lithology and slope data, the evolution of landscape structure and the evolution of management practices allow the driving factors of water erosion to be assessed. From the 2004 erosion map, we observed that the spatial distribution of erosion, for the thirty-year period after planting, was mainly controlled by lithology and historical landscape structure, whatever the slope. By subtracting 2004 data from the 2012 data, and thus evaluating erosion over the last decade, we discovered that the erosion rate had increased significantly, that spatial distribution of erosion had changed and is now basically controlled by slope steepness and present-day vineyard management practices. Erosion patterns for the last decade show that the impact of historical landscape structure is gradually declining. This study shows that it is crucial to take into account the pre-plantation history of vineyard plots and management practices to further increase our understanding of the spatial distribution of erosion on vineyard hillslopes.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 11:29:27 AM
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Emmanuel Chevigny, Amélie Quiquerez, Petit Christophe, Pierre Curmi. Lithology, landscape structure and management practice changes: Key factors patterning vineyard soil erosion at metre-scale spatial resolution. CATENA, Elsevier, 2014, 121, pp.354-364. ⟨http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S034181621400157X⟩. ⟨10.1016/j.catena.2014.05.022⟩. ⟨halshs-01134765⟩

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