Co-design and evaluation of spatially explicit strategies of adaptation to climate change in a Mediterranean watershed

Climate change challenges differently wine growing systems, depending on their biophysical, sociological and economic features. Therefore, there is a need to locally design and evaluate adaptation strategies combining several technical options, and considering the local opportunities and constraints (e.g. water access, wine typicity). The case study took place in a typical and heterogeneous Mediterranean vineyard of 1,500 ha in the South of France. We developed a participatory modeling approach to (1) conceptualize local climate change issues and design spatially explicit adaptation strategies with stakeholders, (2) numerically evaluate their effects on phenology, yield and irrigation needs under the high-emissions climate change scenario RCP 8.5, and (3) collectively discuss simulation results. We organized five sets of workshops, with in-between modeling phases. A process-based model was developed that allowed to evaluate the effects of six technical options (late varieties, irrigation, water saving by reducing canopy size, adjusting cover cropping, reducing density, and shading) with various distributions in the watershed, as well as vineyard relocation. Overall, we co-designed three adaptation strategies. Delay harvest strategy with late varieties showed little effects on decreasing air temperature during ripening. Water constraint limitation strategy would compensate for production losses if disruptive adaptations (e.g. reduced density) were adopted, and more land got access to irrigation. Relocation strategy would foster high premium wine production in the constrained mountainous areas where grapevine is less impacted by climate change. This research shows that a spatial distribution of technical changes gives room for adaptation to climate change, and that the collaboration with local stakeholders is a key to the identification of relevant adaptation. Further research should explore the potential of adaptation strategies based on soil quality improvement and on water stress tolerant varieties. 

Authors: Audrey Naulleau1, Laure Hossard2, Laurent Prévot3 and Christian Gary1

1ABSys, Univ Montpellier, INRAE, CIRAD, Institut Agro, Ciheam-IAMM, Montpellier, France
2Innovation, Univ Montpellier, INRAE, CIRAD, Institut Agro, Montpellier, France
3LISAH, Univ Montpellier, INRAE, IRD, Institut Agro, Montpellier, France

Email: christian.gary@inrae.fr

Keywords: climate change, grapevine model, landscape, participatory design, water-saving practices

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