Chemosphere | 2019
Potential of vermicompost and limestone in reducing copper toxicity in young grapevines grown in Cu-contaminated vineyard soil.
Foliar fungicide application in grapevines increases the content of heavy metals such as copper (Cu) in vineyard soils, which may reach phytotoxic levels. The application of soil amendments such as limestone and vermicompost may reduce Cu availability and phytotoxicity. The study aimed to assess growth, physiological status and changes in root morphology in young grapevines grown for 12 months in Cu-contaminated soil with and without the application of soil amendments. Samples of a Typic Hapludalf soil were collected in a vineyard with more than 30 years of cultivation. The following treatments were used: 1) control (without amendment), 2) application of organic vermicompost (86.7\u202fg\u202fkg-1) and 3) application of limestone (3\u202fMg\u202fha-1). Grapevines (Paulsen 1103 rootstock) were transplanted and grown for 12 months in PVC soil columns. We assessed parameters of growth, photosynthesis and root morphology. Grapevines grown in soil treated with limestone showed increased growth, dry matter yield and photosynthetic efficiency. The highest Cu concentrations in root tissue were found in grapevines grown in control soil. The application of vermicompost in this study did not alleviate Cu toxicity. Grapevines grown in soil treated with vermicompost showed high manganese (Mn) concentration in shoots before the winter pruning, reflecting the high Mn concentrations in soil solution that caused Mn phytotoxicity, resulting in plant death after the winter pruning. The vermicompost used in this study is not suitable for agronomic use. The use of limestone was an effective strategy to reduce Cu availability and phytotoxicity.