Reflective materials and management practices on the physicochemical and biochemical quality of Merlot grapes
The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of reflective materials on the soil surface and management practices on the physicochemical and biochemical quality of the Merlot grapes (Vitis vinifera L.). The experimental design was of randomized blocks, in factorial 3 x 2 (“material type” x “management practice”), with 4 replications, using 4 plants by plot. The “management practice” factor was divided into two levels, with and without its realization. For “material type”, two reflective films were tested in the soil surface, it being white raffia plastics of polypropylene (reflective film 1), metallic raffia plastic (reflective film 2) and without the use of any reflective material. When they reach the harvesting point in the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 production cycles, the physicochemical and biochemical evaluations of fruit quality were submitted; physiological characteristics of the plant and microbiological properties of soil were also evaluated. The use of reflective material on the soil surface improved the quality of the grape in some aspects, especially determining the reduction of the berry dropping and, consequently, an increase in the productivity. Furthermore, it provided greater microbial activity in the soil, which may be important for grapevine. The cultural practices had no influence on the physicochemical and biochemical quality of the vine fruits, providing only a greater number of berries per bunch.
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