Carbon input threshold for soil carbon budget optimization in eroding vineyards

Andrés García-Díaz, Ramón Bienes Allas, Luciano Gristina, Artemio Cerdà, Paulo Pereira, Agata Novara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have documented that, relative to conventional tillage (CT), alternative soil management (reduced tillage, mulching, or cover crops) decreases soil erosion and increases soil organic matter (SOM) in vineyards. These previous studies, however, failed to consider the loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) with erosion that could occur with the adoption of agro-environmental measures (AEM) in a semiarid environment. Accordingly, the aims of this study were to determine whether changes in SOC content under AEM management are always positive and to develop a conceptual model for estimating the "SOC threshold". The SOC threshold was defined as that level of SOC in an AEM-managed vineyard above which erosion will result in greater loss of C than occur in a comparable vineyard with CT management. SOC was analyzed at a 100 paired sites (vineyards with AEM management vs. CT). The results showed that in some cases the loss of C was higher with AEM than with CT. Overall, the results indicate that the SOC threshold may be a key parameter in determining the best AEM measures for vineyards that are on slopes and therefore vulnerable to erosion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-149
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016



  • Agro-environmental measure
  • Degradation
  • Organic carbon
  • Soil erosion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science

Cite this

García-Díaz, A., Allas, R. B., Gristina, L., Cerdà, A., Pereira, P., & Novara, A. (2016). Carbon input threshold for soil carbon budget optimization in eroding vineyards. Geoderma, 271, 144-149.