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Estimation of potential soil erosion in the Prosecco DOCG area (NE Italy), toward a soil footprint of bottled sparkling wine production in different land-management scenarios

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The aim of the study is to estimate and to map potential soil erosion rate, calculating a sort of “soil footprint” for wine production in different agricultural land- management scenarios.


The estimated erosion rate suggests that i) in mid- long-term period degradation in ecosystem functioning could strongly affect agricultural productivity by drastic reduction in nutrients, organic matter, water capacity and biota; ii) off-site effects such as leaching of agricultural pollutants and potential erosion risk may affect at multiple scale in the territory; iii) naturebased land management practices are very performative mitigation measures to control soil erosion processes.
Using a RUSLE GIS-based approach we modelled a sort of “soil footprint” for producing a single bottle of Prosecco DOCG sparkling wine in conventional land management scenario, which is about 3.3 kg of soil every year. On the other hand, nature-based land management scenarios such as the 100% grass cover in inter-rows showed a reduction of the soil footprint to 1.1 kg/bottle. RUSLE estimation on potential soil erosion in the Prosecco DOCG viticultural area suggests that an integrated and public monitoring system is needed in the area, by implementing direct/indirect field measures with spatial analyses at agricultural landscape.

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