Long-term drought resilience of traditional red grapevine varieties from a semi-arid region

In recent decades, the scarcity of water resources in agriculture in certain areas has been aggravated by climate change, which has caused an increase in temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, as well as an increase in the frequency of extreme phenomena such as droughts and heat waves. Although the vine is considered a drought-tolerant specie, it has to satisfy important water requirements to complete its cycle, which coincides with the hottest and driest months. Achieving sustainable viticulture in this scenario requires high levels of efficiency in the use of water, a scarce resource whose use is expected to be severely restricted in the near future. In this regard, the use of drought-tolerant varieties that are able to maintain grape yield and quality could be an effective strategy to face this change. During three consecutive seasons (2018-2020) the behavior in rainfed regime of 13 traditional red grapevine varieties of the Spain central region was studied. These varieties were cultivated in a collection at Centro de Investigación de la Vid y el Vino de Castilla-La Mancha (IVICAM-IRIAF) located in Tomelloso (Castilla-La Mancha, Spain). Yield components (yield, mean bunch and berry weight, pruning weight), physicochemical parameters of the musts (brix degree, total acidity, pH) and some physiological parameters related with water stress during ripening period (δ13C, δ18O) were analysed. The application of different statistical techniques to the results showed the existence of significant differences between varieties in their response to stressful conditions. A few varieties highlighted for their high ability to adapt to drought, being able to maintain high yields due to their efficiency in the use of water. In addition, it was possible quantify to what extent climate can be a determinant in the δ18O of musts under severe water stress conditions.

Authors: A. Sergio Serrano Parra1,2, Jesús Martínez Gascueña1, Gonzalo L. Alonso2, Cristina Cebrián-Tarancón2, María Dolores Carmona Zapata1, Adela Mena Morales1 and Juan Luis Chacón Vozmediano1

1Instituto Regional de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario y Forestal de Castilla-La Mancha (IRIAF), Tomelloso, Ciudad Real, Spain
2Cátedra de Química Agrícola, E.T.S.I. Agrónomos y de Montes, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete, Spain

Email: sergio.serrano@uclm.es

Keywords: grapevine, yield, water stress, carbon isotopic ratio, oxygen isotopic ratio

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