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Carbon isotope ratio as a tool to estimate water status at three study scales in cv. 'Tempranillo'

Santesteban, L. G., Miranda, C. C., Urretavizcaya, I., Royo, J. B.
Acta horticulturae 2014 no.1038 pp. 677-684
carbon, irrigation management, isotopes, small fruits, vines, vineyards, viticulture, water stress, Spain
Water stress is one of the most limiting factors for grape production in many grape growing areas in Spain. Carbon isotope ratio has been reported to be related to plant water status and, therefore, it may be an interesting tool to evaluate vine water status. The aim of this work was to evaluate the isotopic carbon composition of whole berries, oven dried and ground, to estimate the water status of vineyards in an integrative manner. Whole berry carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) at harvest was compared to plant water status and berry size at three scales: (1) nine sampling points within a 4 ha vineyard, (2) three vineyards where irrigation management experiments were being conducted and (3) in an irregular sampling network at a group of adjacent vineyards that accounted for more than 90 ha. As a whole, the results presented highlight the interest in whole berry carbon isotope ratio to easily integrate vine water status for cv. 'Tempranillo' at the three scales considered.