Short-term relationships between climate and grapevine trunk diseases in southern French vineyards

An increasing plant dieback has been observed in vineyards these past two decades, that has been partly attributed to the incidence of grapevine trunk diseases. Among them, esca and Botryosphaeria dieback are increasingly affecting grapevine mortality and yield loss, but little is known about the relationships between leaf symptoms and climate, hampering our ability to predict future trends in grapevine dieback. Our aim was to test short-term relationships between weather conditions and leaf symptom incidence in southern France vineyards. We harmonized and compiled summer surveys leaf symptoms of grapevine trunk disease in a database gathering 50 vineyards. Surveys were conducted on a weekly to bimonthly basis during the period 2003-2021, leading to 69 site-by-year plots. Vineyards were characterised by different ages (8 to 37 years old plants), grapevine varieties (n = 11), cultural practices, soil and climate conditions. Climate data were compiled from Safran daily data of Météo-France and averaged on different time steps. For each plot, we derived weekly rates of leaf symptom incidence using non-parametric Loess models. To account for contrasting conditions among vineyards, we scaled both leaf symptom and climate data, focusing on variations relative to plot. Statistical models show highly significant relationships between local leaf symptom trends and climatic conditions on a weekly to monthly time step. As expected, the higher the evaporative demand (temperature and humidity) the higher the incidence of new weekly cases. However, an increase in drought conditions and wind speed inhibited the incidence of leaf symptoms. Our results suggest that fungi associated with grapevine trunk diseases benefit from warm conditions but are inhibited by dry conditions that both are expected to increase in the next future. Our findings provide important insights to better understand plant-climate-diseases relationships in the field and anticipate trends for the next decades.

Authors: Thibaut Fréjaville1, Lucia Guérin-Dubrana1, Philippe Larignon2, Pascal Lecomte
and Chloé E.L. Delmas1

1INRAE, Bordeaux Sciences Agro, ISVV, Santé et Agroécologie du Vignoble (SAVE), Villenave d’Ornon, France
2Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin, Pôle Rhône-Méditerranée, Rodilhan, France


Keywords: esca, Botryosphaeria dieback, modelling, weather, weekly incidence rate

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