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Environ Pollut. 2012 Aug;167:16-26. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.03.023. Epub 2012 Apr 21.

Remediation of copper in vineyards--a mini review.

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Institute of Soil Science and Land Evaluation, Soil Biology Section, University of Hohenheim, 27 Emil-Wolff-Straße, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany.


Viticulturists use copper fungicide to combat Downy Mildew. Copper, a non-degradable heavy metal, can accumulate in soil or leach into water sources. Its accumulation in topsoil has impacted micro and macro organisms, spurring scientists to research in situ copper removal methods. Recent publications suggest that microorganism assisted phytoextraction, using plants and bacteria to actively extract copper, is most promising. As vineyards represent moderately polluted sites this technique has great potential. Active plant extraction and chelate assisted remediation extract too little copper or risk leaching, respectively. However, despite interesting pot experiment results using microorganism assisted phytoextraction, it remains a challenge to find plants that primarily accumulate copper in their shoots, a necessity in vineyards where whole plant removal would be time consuming and financially cumbersome. Vineyard remediation requires a holistic approach including sustainable soil management, proper plant selection, increasing biodiversity and microorganisms.

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