Groundcover management changes grapevine root fungal communities and plant-soil feedback
The objective of this study was to determine if vineyard groundcover management can mitigate negative plant-soil feedback caused by soil borne pathogens through changes in root fungal communities.
Whole-soil inoculum was collected from a field trial of groundcover identity (exotic grasses, exotic grasses plus legumes, native grasses, and native grasses plus forbs) and irrigation type (drip, sprinkler, and a combination of both) in a modified feedback experiment with grapevine rootstock ‘101–14’ (Vitis riparia x V. rupestris). To see if these groundcovers would differ in their ability to protect vines against negative feedback caused by a soil borne pathogen, we inoculated all pots with the soil-borne root pathogen, Ilyonectria liriodendri (Halleen, Rego & Crous) Chaverri & C. Salgado.
After eight months, vines growing with soil trained by exotic grasses had greater above-ground growth response relative to sterilized control than did vines growing with soil trained by native grasses and forbs. These treatments also resulted in compositionally distinct root fungal communities. The intensity of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi did not differ among ground cover treatments.
Our results show that soil feedback outcomes for grapevines, including negative effects of black foot pathogens such as Ilyonectria liriodendri, could depend on groundcover vegetation management that alters root-associated fungal communities.
KeywordsBlack-foot disease Cover crops Fungal ecology Plant-soil feedback Vineyards
This paper is dedicated to the memory of Diana Morales, who greatly enhanced both the content and enjoyment of this work. The authors also wish to acknowledge the funding sources that made this work possible. EV was supported by the British Columbia Wine Grape Council and the Growing Forward 2 program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. MH was supported by the Organic Science Cluster/Growing Forward 2 program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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