Study of elemental transfers and biogeochemical mechanisms in the soil-plant-wine continuum using isotopic and biochemical tracers

Abstract : In western Europe, soil is of primordial importance for wine making. Soil qualities are often discussed and an influence on wine flavor is frequently inferred. However, evidence for a role of soil chemistry on wine composition and taste is scarce, but mineral nutrition of grapevine plants is one possible way of influence. This thesis approaches the complex question of elemental cycling between soil and plant through the use of geochemical tracers in vineyard environments. A combination of traditional tracers such as elemental ratios and mass balances as well as innovative tools such as Cu isotope analysis and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) are used on different observation scales. The influence of soil type on wine elemental composition was investigated using over 200 wine samples from France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Results of chemical analysis were then statistically linked to environmental conditions. At this scale, elemental contents of wine vary depending on soil type (calcareous or not), meteorological conditions, and wine making practice. To determine which soil properties can influence the chemical composition of grapevine plants, two vineyard plots on contrasted soils in Soave (Italy) were examined. Soil forming mechanisms were studied along two catenas and subsequently linked to elemental composition of grapevine plants and biochemical markers of plant health. Even though soil morphology was different, complex soil forming processes led to similar geochemical properties of soils. Differences in plant chemical compositions between soil types are small compared to inter-individual and inter-annual variability. However the use of Sr isotopic ratios allows the determination of the pedological origin of plants. In a next step, the fate of Cu pesticides in vineyard soils was studied. Cu-based pesticides have been used for almost 150 years in European vineyards and Cu accumulates in soils, so that the fate of Cu and its ecotoxicological implications are of growing importance. Therefore, Cu mobility in vineyard soils and transfer to grapevine plants were investigated using stable Cu-isotope ratios and EPR-measurements. Isotope ratios of Cu-based fungicides vary largely between products, covering Cu isotope ratios in soils reported in literature and thus making source tracing impossible. However, Cu isotope ratios are useful for tracing biogeochemical mechanisms of Cu transport in soils. The vertical transport of Cu in different soil types was investigated in the Soave vineyard using a combination of mass balance calculations, kinetic extractions and δ65Cu-isotope ratios. Results suggest that Cu can be transported to depth even in carbonated environments. Besides it is shown that heavy organic-bound Cu is lost from carbonated soil columns likely caused by dissolution of Cu carbonates by organic matter. [...]
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Simon Blotevogel. Study of elemental transfers and biogeochemical mechanisms in the soil-plant-wine continuum using isotopic and biochemical tracers. Agricultural sciences. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017TOU30373⟩. ⟨tel-02307009⟩

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