Aims: The aim of this study was to implement a very detailed soil survey methodology in 1,243 ha of vineyards in Catalonia (Spain) and analyse its suitability for viticultural zoning.
Methods and results: The Soil Taxonomy at series level was used as the basis for classifying soils and delineating soil map units at 1:5,000 scale. A principal component analysis showed that most of the variability of soil properties, which was explained by factors related to water stress, iron chlorosis and vegetative growth, was not reflected exactly in the soil map unit classification. A k-means clustering analysis was proposed in order to group soils according to their potential for vine growing.
Conclusion: A very detailed soil survey method, based on Soil Taxonomy, could be used as a basic map for viticultural zoning, when was directed at the differentiation of zones of distinct suitability for vineyard growing, by means of cluster analysis.
Significance and impact of study: This study showed how very detailed soil maps, which can be difficult to interpret and put into practice, can be valorised as viticultural zoning maps by means of a simple methodology.
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