GiESCO 2019 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 GiESCO 9 Hydraulic redistribution and water movement mechanisms in grapevines

Hydraulic redistribution and water movement mechanisms in grapevines


Context and purpose of the study – Plants have been shown to redistribute water between root sections and soil layers along a gradient of decreasing water availability. One benefit of this hydraulic redistribution is that water can be transported from roots in wet soil to others in dry soil, delaying the onset of water stress and increasing root longevity in dry environments. Grapevines are thought to redistribute water laterally across the trunk from wet to dry portions of the root system. However, it is unknown whether the phloem contributes to such water redistribution. The objectives of the present study were: (1) to determine the pathways of water transport through the vine form wet soil areas to the dry areas; (2) to determine the potential phloem contribution to this water movement.

Material and methods – This study used deuterium-labeled water (2H2O) as a tracer of water movement. Own-rooted Vitis vinifera L. cv. Merlot grapevines were grown in three-way split root pots. One of the three compartments was irrigated with 2H2O and the other two were left to dry. The trunk in one of the dry compartments was girdled and the other one was left intact to distinguish xylem and phloem water movement. Xylem sap and phloem sap, trunk and root tissue, and soil samples were collected. Water from each sample was extracted via a cryogenic method and analyzed for deuterium enrichment (δ2H).

Results – Following 2H2O supply to the roots, strong deuterium enrichment was found in both xylem and phloem sap collected from petioles. Moreover, the δ2H values were significantly higher in root tissues and soil collected from the dry/intact compartment than in samples from the dry/girdled compartment. These results indicate water moves from roots in wet soil to leaves via the xylem and recycles from leaves to roots in dry soil via the phloem. This xylem-to-phloem redistribution in drought-stressed grapevines keeps roots in dry soil alive, as long as a portion of the root system has access to soil water. The success of irrigation strategies such as partial rootzone drying may be linked to this physiological process.


Publication date: March 11, 2024

Issue: GiESCO 2019

Type: Poster



1 Washington State University, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, 24106 N. Bunn Rd., Prosser, 99350, WA, USA

Contact the author


Grapevine, Xylem, Phloe, Drought, Water Redistribution, Hydraulic Lift, Deuterium


GiESCO | GiESCO 2019 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…

Soil quality in Beaujolais vineyard. Importance of pedology and cultural practices

A pedological study was carried out from 2009 to 2017 in Beaujolais vineyard, to improve physical and chemical knowledge of soils. It was completed in 2016 and 2017 by the current study, dealing with microbial aspects, in order to build a reference frame for improved advice in soil management. Microbial biomass was measured on representative plots of the six most common soil types identified in Beaujolais and, for each soil type, on plots with different levels of the main impacting parameters: total organic carbon, pH, cation exchange capacity, extractable copper. A total of 59 soil samples were collected. Confirming the results of various trials carried out in Beaujolais over the past 20 years, the results of the present study showed that the soils were still alive, but exhibited a large variability of biological parameters, which appeared dependant on both pedological and anthropic factors. Therefore, a good interpretation of biological parameters and advice for vine growers must rely on a pedologically-based referential with differentiated main driving factors. For example, the control of pH is of primary importance in granitic soils and in no way organic matter addition can improve soil quality if pH is too low. Conversely, in calcareous soils, biological parameters are more directly affected by direct or indirect (cover crops for example) inputs of organic matter. The use of biological parameters, such as microbial biomass, is of great potential value to improve advice on agro-viticultural practices (soil management, fertilization, liming, etc.), basis of a sustainable wine production on fragile soils.

Autochthonous yeasts: a microbiological tool to exalt the quality of the apulian sparkling wine

The selection, characterization, and recruitment of autochthonous yeast strains to drive the alcoholic fermentation process is a highly researched practice because it allows the differentiation of the organoleptic properties of wines, assuring process standardization, reducing fermentation times and improving the quality and safety of the final products [1, 2]. Sparkling wines are “special wines” obtained by secondary fermentation of the base wine. ​In the traditional method (Champenoise method), the re-fermentation takes place in the bottle after the addition to the base wine of the so-called tirage solution. This step, also known as prise de mousse, is followed by an aging period characterized by the release of compounds from the yeast cells that affect the organoleptic properties of the final product. The use of autochthonous yeasts as starter cultures for secondary fermentation is one of the recent innovations proposed to enhance and differentiate these wines’ sensory quality [3,4]. Apulia is the second Italian wine-producing region, and its productive chain is now going through a qualitative evolution by implementing the employment of innovative approaches to exalt the peculiar properties of regional wines.

Diversificazione e valorizzazione di produzioni tipiche sul territorio: I cesanesi

The zone in which the Cesanese vines are cultivated has a secular tradition of red wine­making. This zone is placed between the Simbruini mountains slopes and the surrounding hills and has pedologicai variability but a very homogeneous microclimate.


Volatile compounds play a significant role on the organoleptic properties defining wines quality. This particular role was exploited in several studies with the aim to differentiate wines from a more or less extensive production area, according to their sensory profile [1], as well as their chemical composition [2,3] (Di Paola-Naranjo et al., 2011; Kustos et al., 2020). Indeed, since aroma compounds development in grapes depends primarily on the environmental conditions of the vines and grapes (soil and climate), it is conceivable that these parameters craft the aromatic signature of the wine produced, in relation to its origin (Van Leeuwen et al., 2020). In this work, a general study on the aromatic and sensorial profile of wines produced in five sub-regions of the Corbières denomination, a renowned red grape varieties viticultural region in South France, was reported.

Terroir effects from the reflectance spectra of the canopy of vineyards in four viticultural regions

Knowledge of the reflectance spectrum of grape leaves is important to the identification of grape varieties in images of viticultural regions where several cultivars co-exist.