Assessment of plant water consumption rates under climate change conditions through an automated modular platform
The impact of climate change is noticeable in the present weather, making water scarcity the most immediate mediator reducing the performance and viability of crops, including grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.). The present study developed a system (hardware, firmware, and software) for the determination of plant water use through changes in weight through a period. The aim is to measure the differences in grapevine water consumption in response to climate change (+4oC and 700 ppm) under controlled conditions. The results reveal a correlation between daily plant consumption rates and reference evapotranspiration (ETo). However, plant water consumption had much strongercorrelations with leaf area and substrate available water content. Interestingly, an increase in 4oC and 700 ppm of CO2 did not result in higher water consumption rates when plants had similar leaf areas. This is supported by the lack of differences in discrete leaf transpiration (E) rates determined throughout the same period. Stomatal conductance was significantly lower in +4oC and 700 ppm plants, which agrees with the reported effect of CO2 in previous studies. Although further investigation will be carried out to determine the impact of each of the climate change factors on daily water consumption rates, photosynthetic acclimation to elevated CO2 may be a key factor for the adaptation of crops to water scarcity.
Keywords: Climate change, water stress, temperature, elevated CO2, evapotranspiration, stomatal regulation.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to A. Urdiain, M. Oyarzun & H. Santesteban for technical support. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Gobierno de España; Ref. PID2020-118337RB-IOO) and “ANDIA talento senior 2021” (Gobierno de Navarra) funded the research.
Issue: ICGWS 2023