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A water stress index based on water balance modelling for discrimination of grapevine quality and yield

Abstract : Aims: A water stress index based on a water balance model was tested as a tool for classifying the water stress paths experienced by grapevines in various French Mediterranean vineyards. The relations between the index value and grapevine yield and berry quality (sugars, organic acids, anthocyanins) at harvest were investigated. Methods and results : A data set of 102 situations, each combining one location, one variety, one vintage and one water regime (irrigation or, most often, no irrigation), was collected for the study. The Fraction of Transpirable Soil Water (FTSW) was simulated by a unique-soil-reservoir water balance model at a daily time step. Five classes of water deficit were delimited from specific decreasing thresholds of FTSW over four periods between flowering and harvest. These thresholds were derived from predawn leaf water potential values because over decades, grapegrowers and researchers have shared references and built expertise by using this variable throughout the Mediterranean region. A water stress index resulting from the levels of water deficit reached at each of the four periods of the cycle was calculated. This index was correlated with yield per vine, berry weight, and berry sugar and organic acid contents but not with berry anthocyanin content. Conclusion : A simple water stress index, based on the water balance model, exhibited significant correlations with yield and berry quality for various cultivars and pedo-climatic conditions in Mediterranean vineyards. Significance and impact of the study : This water stress index is a valuable tool for explaining the variations in grape yield and quality of grape among various locations and years because it reflects the vineyard water stress history, in relation to rainfall regime and soil conditions. Improvement would come from the simulation of FTSW during winter, notably for soils of high Total Transpirable Soil Water. One potential application is the quantification of water stress change brought by irrigation in Mediterranean vineyards, and its relation to grapevine production.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 6:43:25 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-02635748, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 259023
  • WOS : 000333879300001


Rémi Gaudin, Kamal Kansou, J. C. Payan, Anne Pellegrino, Christian Gary. A water stress index based on water balance modelling for discrimination of grapevine quality and yield. Journal International des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin, 2014, 48 (1), pp.1-9. ⟨hal-02635748⟩



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