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The project “Copper stabilization in vineyard soils” (KUSTAW) aims at the reduction of copper bioavailability in topsoil layers of vineyards. The necessity of such measures is mainly caused by the long-term application of copper-based pesticides that have resulted in elevated soil concentrations. The project KUSTAW intends to develop methods for reducing the bioavailability of copper and improving soil fertility and soil life in vineyard soils. This will be achieved by the application of organic soil additives like compost and biochar that are characterized by both excellent heavy metal adsorption capacity and soil amelioration potential. 


• Identification of the optimal biochar-compost-mixtures for Cu-stabilisation in impacted soils• Optimisation of application techniques for biochar-compost-mixtures 

• Determination of the adsorption characteristics of Cu to organic soil additives

• Analyses of Cu-uptake by grapevines and ground vegetation on Cu-stabilized soils

• Investigation of the interaction of stabilization additives with phytopathogens and grape quality

• Study of soil microbiological reactions to different Cu-bioavailability by organic soil additives

• Assessment of risks, economic and legal aspects of Cu-stabilization by organic soil additives


• Lab experiments:o characterization of the adsorption behavior of Cu and the effects of the soil additiveso determinations of Cu-bioavailability and Cu-effects on soil microbiology, also based on soil samples from the pot experiment and from the field experiments

• Pot experiment:o screening and selection of the optimal soil additives, as single or combined additives of compost and biocharo determinations of plant uptake and translocation of Cu in above-ground parts of ground vegetation and grapevine scionso determination of Cu-migration in micro-lysimeter pots for seepage water collection

• Field experiments:o analyses of the effects of different application techniques of organic additiveso analyses of the additive effects on Cu-transport to ground vegetation, vines and grapes and on soil microbiology under actual field conditionso analyses of mildew dispersion and infection after application of organic additiveso determination of effects on wine quality