Options for Soil Health Measurement in Vineyards and Deciduous Fruit Orchards, with Special Reference to Nematodes

  • C. Kapp Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • S.G. Storey Nemlab, c/o R44 and Anyswortelrug road, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • A.P. Malan Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Abstract

Soil is a non-renewable resource and supports all land-based forms of life. The sustainable production
of crops is becoming progressively more critical as human populations increase and viable agricultural
land decreases. Soil health plays an indispensable part in the sustainability of soil as a resource for future
generations. For this very reason it is important to have suitable tools to measure the improvement or
deterioration of soil health in vineyards and orchards. In this review, the use of different bio-indicators to
indicate soil health will be discussed, with special emphasis on the use of nematode population structure
and function as indicators of soil health. The use of nematodes as a bio-indicator of soil health can play a
crucial role in the establishment of future sustainable production of grapes and fruit in the Western Cape.
This paper provides a comprehensive review of soil health, the use of different biological indicators, and
the potential of nematodes as suitable indicators thereof, aimed at vineyards and deciduous fruit orchards.
Published
2013-08-23
Section
Articles