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2 Selcuk University Graduate School of Natural and Applied Science, Turkey
Submission: June 09, 2018; Published: September 11, 2018
*Corresponding author: Ali Sabir, Selcuk University Agriculture Faculty Horticulture Department, 42075 Konya, Turkey; Tel: 905334620261; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to cite this article: Sabir A, Kucukbasmaci A, Taytak M, Bilgin OF, Jawshle AIM. Sustainable Viticulture Practices on the Face of Climate Change.
Agri Res & Tech: Open Access J. 2018; 17(4): 556033. DOI: 10.19080/ARTOAJ.2018.17.556033
Change in past climate is evidenced to alter regional temperature and precipitation, resulting in non-neglectable influences on agricultural activities and crop production. In viticulture, climate change can cause multiple co-occurring changes in cultural conditions, growing seasons, environmental conditions, winter frost, vine phenology, grape berry composition, biotic disturbance, and abiotic disturbance. In order to alleviate the negative effects of climate change, the use of adapted genotypes is a better tool as it has the advantage of being environmentally friendly and cost effective. Besides, many other cultural practices should be employed simultaneously to obtain better results.
Keywords: Grape growing; Drought; Environment; Cultural practices
Grapes (Vitis vinifera L.), belonging to the family Vitaceae, comprise about 60 species distributed in Asia, North America and Europe under subtropical, Mediterranean and temperate climatic conditions. Vitis vinifera L. has acquired significant economic interest over the history while some other species such as V. berlandieri, V. riparia and V. rupestris have been used to breed rootstocks. Thousands of cultivars classified as Vitis vinifera L. subsp. Sativa are widely cultivated for fresh fruit, raisin (dried grape berries), juice and mainly for wine [1,2]. Domestication of the grapevine appears to have occurred between the seventh and the fourth millennia BC, in an area between the Black Sea and Iran [3,4]. Domesticated genotypes have been spread by humans to the Near East, Middle East and Central Europe.
Previously, grape growers cultivated predominantly traditionally grown local grape cultivars , because of their high suitability to local ecological conditions. Later, in the second half of the nineteenth century, intensive renovation of vineyards took place and indigenous varieties were mostly replaced by several worldwide cultivars . Grapevines are believed to possess notable climate adaptability. Nonetheless, specific climatic conditions are necessitated for well-balanced berry maturation and high-quality grape production. Accumulated temperatures above 10 °C (base temperature) are required for grapevine growing onset . Grape growers have adapted varieties and
viticulture management activities throughout the centuries to keep
harvests within desired dates. However, the climate throughout
the world is constantly changing. Agricultural productivity of an area is directly correlated with climate and several modeling tools and approaches are already in place that could be used to predict the effects of climate change using bioclimatic parameters. Climate change induced increases in temperature are projected to negatively affect ecosystems but other species might respond positively . Changes in climate conditions and, especially, in rainfall regime are therefore likely to alter agricultural practices including irrigation and transport of nutrients and pesticides in the environment. Adopting cultural practices is the first option to reduce adverse climatic effects .
This paper presents a review of general impacts of climate change on viticulture and cultural applications to combat adverse effects of climate change. There are many mitigation opportunities in the agricultural sector. This article is intended to help growers understand the relative magnitude and feasibility of mitigation opportunities.
Climate change is commonly considered as temperature increase and subsequent drought. Other factors such as increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), increased radiation, wildfires, extreme weather and flooding and sea level rise should be considered. Increased environment temperature triggers advanced vine phenology, the date on which bud break, flowering, and véraison (onset of ripening) happen. This shifts the berry
maturation phase to warmer periods in the summer, which will
adversely affect grape composition, in particular with respect to
aroma compounds. Early harvest dates under dry conditions are
incompatible with the production of great terroir grapes or wines.
Certain secondary metabolites, like anthocyanins, are negatively
affected by high temperature. Grape acidity, in particular the
malic acid content, decreases in high temperature . Increased
water stress due to high temperature impairs photosynthesis,
reduces yields and modulates the berry must composition as
already reported by researchers [11,12]. Studies imply that the
frequency of extreme climatic events is likely to increase. This may
have positive or negative implications on grape and wine quality
depending on the region and the magnitude of change.
According to the IPCC’s 2007 report, the average temperature
has been increased by approximately 0.5 °C in the 20th century
and McCarl  indicated that further increase in global climate
can be up to 1.4 °C to 5.8 °C by the end of the 21st century.
Higher temperatures modify the rainfall patterns, increase
evapotranspiration and radiation. High radiation causes sunburn
on grapes, particularly in the prevéraison phase. To deal with
climate change, adaptation strategies are needed to continue to
produce high quality grapes/wines and to preserve their features
according to their origin in a changing climate.
Changes in climate and atmospheric gas composition
influence severity and biology of plant diseases and pests. Higher
temperature inevitably favours the dominance in certain plant
pathogens since the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration will
directly increase the amounts of pathogen inoculum. It is evident
from the studies that there is increased production of Fusarium
biomass per unit wheat tissue at elevated CO2, which will increase
inoculum transfer between successive growing seasons .
Studies on plant diseases also show that extreme weather events
such as hurricanes causing the spread of plant pathogens to new
agricultural lands are frequently occurred . Such events may
increase with the projected increase in the frequency of extreme
weather events under climate change.Effect of climate change on
agricultural pests has been studied by biologists. Studies revealed
that insect pest activity, the second major cause of damage to
crops, will increase in line with climate change leading to greater
risk of crop losses . Although science currently allows only
very crude predictions of pest behavior, possibility of exotic
pest invasion due to climate change should be considered when
interpreting any estimates of the impacts of climate change.
Grape growers need to implement adaptive strategies and
practices to continue the production of high-quality grapes at
economically acceptable yields in a warmer and dryer climate.
Among various options, the use of adapted plant material is
one of the better tools, because it has the advantage of being
environmentally friendly and cost effective. Rootstock resistance
to water deficits is highly variable . Certain rootstocks, like 44-
5M, 140 Ruggeri or 110 Richter, are known as highly tolerant to
drought. In studies, creating new rootstocks that display greater
resistance to drought is one of the priorities of today’s viticultural
research. Similarly, there are large differences in drought tolerance
among grapevine varieties . The notable advantage of adapting
vineyards to increased drought stress through the choice of plant
genotypes is that it is environmentally friendly and cost effective.
When the climate becomes too warm, clonal selection should be
oriented toward late-ripening clones using traditional varieties.
Vine training can be modified to delay phenology. For example,
higher trunks can reduce the temperature in the bunch zone and,
therefore, limit maximum temperatures on dry soils. Late pruning
may delay bud break and subsequent phenological stages. In this
context, over centuries growers in Mediterranean region have
developed a the so-called goble training system (Mediterranean
bush vines) that allows a greater drought-resistant performance
as the system limits vine water consumption while preventing
water runoff from soil surface near the trunk.
Cover crops promote soil carbon sequestration and promote
nitrogen retention in the cultivated soil. Studies have demonstrated
that cover crops had enhanced the soil structural stability, the
water holding capacity, the infiltration rate and the saturated
hydraulic conductivity . Legume plants as cover crop may play
an important role by adding more atmospheric N2 through fixation
into the soil. Quantitative evidence about the effect of cover crop
in irrigated systems in semi-arid areas is lacking but necessary to
understand the effect of cover crop on the mitigation of climate
change and the improvement of agricultural soil quality. Cover
crops can minimize the runoff water and thus can be considered
as a proxy for minimizing potential erosion.
Vineyard pruning waste is the residue after pruning the
vineyard trees, such as thin and thick branches, that is usually
burned by the small-scale producers, contributing to global
warming by the emission of greenhouse gases like CO2 during
their combustion. Instead of burning, incorporation of the
pruning canes in the soil can enhance soil properties and can be
environment-friendly. Vineyard pruning residue generates over 1
ton of biomass waste per hectare . These residues are suitable
for energy valorization and are mainly composed of cellulose and
lignin with a low moisture content.
Achieving optimal water levels throughout the vegetation
period requires precise control of irrigation water. This
intervention can only be applied to irrigated systems and requires technical knowledge. High-efficient irrigation systems should be
considered such as drip irrigation using soil moisture probes,
pressure pump and climatic data . Use of drip irrigation
under plastic mulched conditions can be strongly recommended
in semiarid soils . The special soil environment under plastic
mulched drip irrigation condition may also be highly beneficial
for microbial growth owing to the better water and temperature
Overuse of synthetic fertilizers is a significant issue in most
countries with highly industrialized, high-input agricultural
systems. Increasing the efficiency of nutrient use is one of the
essential approaches to alleviate negative effects of climate
change. Fertilizers should be applied only as much as can be taken
up by the crop. Injecting the nutrients on proper time into the soil
near to plant roots instead of broadcasting would be efficient.
Improving stored manure practices in industrialized
livestock systems. Farmyard manure presents no serious food
security risks, if properly used, and have other co-benefits such
as keeping the quality of agricultural water. These nutrients
often become a source of emission, water and air pollution when
handled improperly. One of the leading mitigation opportunities
for stored manure is anaerobic digestion. There are quite a few
simple storage and handling practices that can reduce emissions
and pollution. Emissions from stored manure can be effciently
reduced by covering the manure and keeping the manure in
beds. Use of manure can reduce the need for synthetic fertilizer,
reduce nutrient loading into ground and surface water bodies, and
increase the productivity of croplands and pastures.
Adoption of recommended management practices on
agricultural soils can enhance carbon sequestration and reduce
the rate of enrichment of atmospheric CO2. Application of crop
residue as organic mulch may maintain soil moisture content,
influence the soil organic carbon pools and also different
management interventions like application of irrigation and
nitrogen promote root growth. Organic mulch can also improve
soil physical properties and growth of plants  while restricting
the compatible weed growth.
Fast-growing, evergreen, hedging plants, like Leylandii,
can protect the plants from heavy storm and cold winds. Use
of screening plants is generally the cheapest way of forming an
evergreen hedge and hence the most popular. Leylandii with its
dense foliage is also very tolerant of wind and cold temperatures.
It can serve as sound barrier and is best at filtering particulates
(air pollution) from a passing traffic .
As the climate is getting warmer, grapevines have been showing
potentially different responses to temperature and light. In arid
and semiarid regions, certain grape cultivars, like ‘Italia’, usually
experience sunburn problem. Shade netting is required to protect
clusters and vines from excessive radiation and temperature. Use
of nets also protects the summer shoots against hail damage and
ripening berries from bird attack.
Global climate change, warming in particular is expected to
decrease sensory quality of horticultural crops. Environmental
factors have been acknowledged to greatly influence grape and
wine aromas. Wines produced from the highest site were preferred
in tasting trials for their more patent floral notes and elegance .
In the lower sites, grapes at harvest accumulate lower amounts of
all of the main classes of aroma compounds. But, wines produced
from the highest site are preferred in tasting trials for their more
patent floral notes and elegance. Thus, replacement of vineyard to
higher altitudes and mountainous regions is expected to improve
sensory quality of grapes although such adaptations have a high
social and economic cost.
Overconsumption of energy and excessive discretionary food
intake inflates dietary greenhouse gas emissions. Bioenergy is
generally considered to mitigate climate change by sequestering
carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and to enhance energy security
by providing domestically produced energy. Biomass is believed
to be a key future renewable energy source that can replace fossil
energy. Exploitation of biomass as renewable energy source by the
spouted beds technology may be considered an alternative that
guarantees sustainable development and a clean process. Energy
generation using biomass feedstocks has many benefits and has
important advantages that reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels
and alleviate greenhouse gas emissions. The selection of suitable
and favorable locations for biomass plants becomes a crucial issue
and concern because biomass feedstocks are geographically and
Emissions from the agricultural sector are very substantial.
Direct agricultural emissions have been increasing steadily over
the last several decades in tandem with growing global agricultural
production. Technical mitigation potential can be difficult to
estimate precisely because agricultural emissions and mitigation
have high uncertainty levels. Strategies such as restoration of
degraded areas, bioenergy use, maintaining and increasing forest
land would be beneficial. Use of electrical vehicles is also other
Mitigating the impact of the forest industry on the environment
is crucial because, as most of human activities, it con- tributes to
the loss and degradation of biosphere balances. Eucalyptus is a
fast growing species which can provide the main raw material
used by industry.
Wind turbines and photovoltaic panels may effectively modify
climate of local ground level by a magnitude that could affect the fundamental plant–soil processes that govern carbon dynamics.
Solar and wind energies have the potential to produce renewable
energy across the world, although their costs currently restrict the
viability in some areas.
Proximal and remote sensing sensors become robust
investigation instruments of the vineyard status, such as water
and nutrient availability, plant health and pathogen attacks.
A lot of sensors aiming to monitor different parameters that
characterize the plant growth environment are employed in
precision viticulture for remote and proximal monitoring of
geolocated data. Irrometers (or soil tensiometers), for example,
are good indicators to control soil water content .
In the Mediterranean countries, particularly, climatic and
andedaphic conditions make agricultural practices strongly
dependent on the use of agrochemicals. The intensive use of
agrochemicals in vines implies that high amounts of nutrients and
pesticides can be transported into water bodies, with negative
consequences for both the environment and public health .
Excessive nutrient inputs, for example, may cause degradation
of water and soil quality. As many invasive plants are anticipated
to benefit from climate change, the need for effective pest and
disease management strategies will become more pressing in the
near future. Biological control has been an effective management
strategy in many instances.
The climate scenarios projected for many viticulture regions
in the world imply that high temperatures and drought events
will more frequently occur in the future. An integrated approach
combining the impacts of changes in climate as well as land use
is essential for a more realistic evaluation of the future state
of water resources. The use of proper genotypes is the prime
consideration to cope with climate change. Because of increased
global air temperature along with intensity of climatic anomalies,
the optimization of water use for vineyards, by improving water
use efficiency, is a core subject of interest to ensure sustainability
in viticulture. In cultivation, sustainable agricultural practices
should be applied considering the limited sources.