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Reference: Characterisation of the vertical temperature gradient in the canopy reveals increased trunk height to be a potential adaptation to climate change
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Given the important role of temperature in vine development and grape composition, climate change has already impacted wine production. Adaptation strategies are needed in order to sustain the production of wines and maintain their typicity. Several levers of adaptation are possible, including the use of more heat and drought tolerant plant material, relocating the vineyard and adaptations in the cellar. The training system is also a potential lever for adaptation that is relatively easy to implement. Taking that avenue, a study of the vertical thermal gradient in the vine canopy was carried out in order to determine whether trunk height could be an adaptation strategy for manipulating micro-climate in the bunch zone. Temperature was measured at four different heights from the soil (30, 60, 90 and 120 cm) in two adjacent vineyard parcels. One parcel was managed with cover crop and the other by tilling the soil. The results of this study show that increased trunk height is not likely to significantly delay ripeness, but it could minimise the potential damages of both frost and heat wave events. Type of parcel management was found to have an effect: close to the ground, the cover crop parcel generally had lower minimum temperatures and higher maximum temperatures in comparison to the tilled parcel, exposing the vines to an increased risk of both frost and heat wave damage. When investigating the factors driving the vertical thermal gradient, soil moisture and weather type were found to have an impact. Some of these factors, like mean temperature and soil moisture, may exacerbate the vertical temperature gradient of maximum temperature in a climate change context and increase the risk of damages due to extreme temperatures.

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Publication Details

Published: 2023
Publication: Oeno One
Issue: 2023 57-1
Author: de Resseguier L 2023


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