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Vineyard trellis system orientation and inclination effects on water use efficiency and productivity of potted and field-grown grapevines

Buesa, I., Caccavello, G., Merli, M. C., Puerto, H., Ruiz-Canales, A., Molina, J. M., Intrigliolo, D. S.
Acta horticulturae 2017 no.1150 pp. 463-470
Vitis, canopy, grapes, phenology, photosynthesis, planting, transpiration, vapor pressure, vegetative growth, vines, vineyards, water use efficiency
The vineyard trellis system determines the daily and seasonal light interception patterns and therefore can influence water use and productivity. Three experiments in potted and field grown 'Bobal' grapevines were carried out in order to explore the possibility of increasing the whole vine water use efficiency (WUE) either by means of leaning canopies west or by using an east-west vine row orientation. Results show that the orientation of the east-west rows reduces transpiration by 15% compared with the north-south orientation without compromising yield. On the other hand, vineyards planted north-south leaned west had lower vine light interception in the early afternoon, when the vapor pressure deficit is higher, but this does not allow reducing daily water consumption because the higher water use takes place during the morning. However, leaning vines west increased vineyard productivity and vegetative growth and even an earlier phenological development, but only in some seasons. Besides, differences in berry components (cluster weight, berry number and size) and its composition occurred between treatments. This is due to the greater amount of radiation intercepted in the early morning when the photosynthetic capacity of the vines is higher. These results show the relevance that the vineyard design and canopy architecture can play on the WUE, productivity and grape composition. Nevertheless, more effort is needed in further seasons to improve our knowledge on canopy and vineyard management effects on vine WUE.