Towards a regional mapping of vine water status based on crowdsourcing observations

Monitoring vine water status is a major challenge for vineyard management because it influences both yield and harvest quality. It is also a challenge at the territorial scale for identifying periods of high water restriction or zones regularly impacted by water stress. This information is of major importance for defining collective strategies, anticipating harvest logistic or applying for irrigation authorisation. At this spatial scale, existing tools and methods for monitoring vine water status are few and often require strong assumptions (e.g. water balance model). This paper proposes to consider a collaborative collection of observations by winegrowers and wine industry stakeholders (crowdsourcing) as an interesting alternative. Indeed, it allows the collection of a large number of field observations while pooling the collection effort. However, the feasibility of such a project and its interest in monitoring vine water status at regional scale has never been tested. 

The objective of this article is to explore the possibility of making a regional map of vine water status based on crowdsourcing observations. It is based on the study of the free mobile application ApeX-Vigne, which allows the collection of observations about vine shoot growth. This information is easy to collect and can be considered, under certain conditions, as a proxy for vine water status. This article presents the first results obtained from the nearly 18,000 observations collected by winegrowers and wine industry stakeholders during 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons. It presents the vine shoot growth maps obtained at regional scale and their evolution over the three vintages studied. It also proposes an analysis of the factors that favoured the number of observations collected and those that favoured their quality. These results open up new perspectives for monitoring vine water status at a regional scale but above they provide references for other crowdsourcing projects in viticulture.

Authors: Léo Pichon, Guilhem Brunel, Yulin Zhang and Bruno Tisseyre 

ITAP, Institut Agro Montpellier, INRAE, Univ. of Montpellier, Montpellier, France


Keywords: citizen science, decision support, precision viticulture, spatial analysis, Vitis vinifera

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