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Soil and Terroir

  • Edoardo Antonio Costantino CostantiniEmail author
  • Pierluigi Bucelli
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Environment, Security, Development and Peace book series (BRIEFSSECUR, volume 8)

Abstract

This review aims to draw together the main traits of an interdisciplinary research field that bridges different branches of pedology with crop sciences and food analysis. It introduces the concept of terroir, placing a special emphasis on research that has investigated the role played by soil on terroir recognition. As the availability of water and oxygen are the main drivers of the effect of soil on terroir, a case study is reported that demonstrates the interactions between the soil water regime and vine phenology and evapotranspiration. Other soil functional qualities are reported for wine grapes as well for olive oil, apples, oranges, pomegranates, potatoes, carrots, truffles, beer, cheese, coffee, and tobacco. Soils of the well-acknowledged terroirs are often characterized by a moderate supply of water, oxygen, and nutrient, are probably regulated by a specific biodiversity, and are able to ensure that the target qualitative result is achieved without massive integration of fertilizers. Thus a challenge for soil scientists is to provide farmers with the evidence and the tools to enable them to select, maintain, and carefully support soils of terroir. A special focus is then provided on the new frontiers that soil sciences can offer in this field of research, and in particular on the new materials and methods that can be used to understand and measure the soil influence on wine grape and other quality crops. Advances are demonstrated in: (1) the use of proximal and remote soil sensors, models, and statistical analysis; (2) the spatial and temporal assessment of nutrient availability and soil biology; (3) the adoption of the carbon isotope ratio to assess the stress suffered by the plant during the growing season; and (4) new methodologies to trace the origin of food.

Keywords

Precision agriculture Mediterranean Vis-NIR NDVI Kriging Metagenomic δ13Strontium 

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© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edoardo Antonio Costantino Costantini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pierluigi Bucelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Consiglio per la ricerca e la sperimentazione in agricoltura, CRA—Research Centre for Agrobiology and PedologyFlorenceItaly

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