Tenyear study shows just how dry grapevines can get before they die

first_img Explore further A ten-year study of grapevine hardiness in the face of drought has been conducted by a team led by researchers at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, they report that the wine industry does not appear to be in imminent danger due to global warming, as some have suggested. © 2018 Phys.org Credit: CC0 Public Domain Overlooked plants defy drought More information: Guillaume Charrier et al. Drought will not leave your glass empty: Low risk of hydraulic failure revealed by long-term drought observations in world’s top wine regions, Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao6969AbstractGrapevines are crops of global economic importance that will face increasing drought stress because many varieties are described as highly sensitive to hydraulic failure as frequency and intensity of summer drought increase. We developed and used novel approaches to define water stress thresholds for preventing hydraulic failure, which were compared to the drought stress experienced over a decade in two of the world’s top wine regions, Napa and Bordeaux. We identified the physiological thresholds for drought-induced mortality in stems and leaves and found small intervarietal differences. Long-term observations in Napa and Bordeaux revealed that grapevines never reach their lethal water-potential thresholds under seasonal droughts, owing to a vulnerability segmentation promoting petiole embolism and leaf mortality. Our findings will aid farmers in reducing water use without risking grapevine hydraulic integrity.last_img

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