Effects of leaning grapevine canopy to the West on water use efficiency and yield under Mediterranean conditions
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Cita bibliográficaBuesa, I., Ballester, C., Mirás-Avalos, J. M., & Intrigliolo, D. S. (2020). Effects of leaning grapevine canopy to the West on water use efficiency and yield under Mediterranean conditions. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 295, 108166.
This study tested the possibility of improving whole-canopy water use efficiency (WUE) of grapevines (cv. Bobal) by maximizing radiation interception during the mornings and limiting this during the afternoons, when the vapour pressure deficit and the evaporative demand are higher. The three-year study consisted of two trials conducted in parallel on North-South row oriented potted- and field-grown grapevines. In both trials, performance in terms of vine water use, yield and WUE in a vertical shoot positioned (VSP) system was compared with that of vines leaned 30° towards West (WSP). Potted vines were fully irrigated, whereas field-grown vines were submitted to rain-fed and deficit irrigation conditions. In potted plants, there was no difference in daily transpiration between vines from the WSP and VSP treatments, but transpiration in the mornings was higher in WSP vines. Dry matter and berry size increased in WSP compared to VSP vines. In the field, watering regime had a greater effect than canopy inclination on vine performance. Nonetheless, the WSP system increased leaf area by 13%, yield by 12% and WUE by 11% compared to VSP, although differences in WUE were not statistically significant and the effect on yield was negligible under rain-fed conditions. In both trials, the WSP system did not have a major effect on grape composition (soluble solids, pH, total acidity, concentrations of anthocyanins and polyphenols). In conclusion, this pioneering three-year study proved that leaning vine canopies to the West increased grapevine performance despite the great effect that environmental conditions exerted each year on the data obtained. Further research is required to study the effects of different patterns of light interception on carbon balance and grape biochemical composition.