Climate change impacts on European grapevine yields through a dynamic crop modelling approach

Climate has a predominant role on growth and development of grapevines. Therefore, climate change represents an important challenge to the winemaking sector. The present study aims to develop climate change projections for grapevine yields in Europe. For this purpose, gridded climatic variables over a recent-past (1950-2000) and RCP8.5 future scenarios (2041-2060), are coupled with the STICS crop model. For each grid-cell in the European sector, soil (e.g. type, texture, depth) and terrain parameters are determined and used as model inputs. Grapevine and crop management variables are also defined. Yield simulations under current and future climates are then compared to identify climate change signals. For the recent-past, the crop model is able to properly simulate yields for the main current European wine regions, showing lower yields in Southern Europe and higher yields in more central/northern regions. For the future, the results depict an increase in yield in the later regions, and a decrease in the former, mostly over inner Iberia. The projections also show a northwards extension of the potential grapevine growth areas, emerging new potential winemaking regions in northern Europe. The current study is a first attempt to apply the STICS crop model to the whole European sector, by using climatic, soil and terrain data as inputs, and the results are thereby preliminary. By using climate change projections as inputs to crop models, the present approach may represent a key decision support system for the European winemaking sector.

Authors: Helder FRAGA (1), Iñaki GARCÍA DE CORTÁZAR ATAURI (2), Aureliano MALHEIRO (1), João A. SANTOS (1)

(1) Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5000-801 Vila Real Portugal
(2) French National Institute for Agricultural Research, INRA, US1116 AgroClim, F-84914 Avignon, France

E-mail: hfraga@utad.pt

Keywords: grapevine yields, dynamic modelling, climate change, STICS, Europe

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