Assessing the drought tolerance of selected grapevine scion cultivars


Project Number
P04000207

Project title
Assessing the drought tolerance of selected grapevine scion cultivars

Project leader
Myburgh, P A

Team members
Howell, C L
Strever, A E
Lategan, E L
Harris, T
Baron, F

Project description
Grapevines depend on adequate water for sustainable yield and quality. According to climate change forecasts, rainfall in the Western Cape could become lower over time. The drier conditions are likely go hand in hand with increased air temperatures. In the drier regions, e.g. the Swartland, many vineyards are grown dryland or with limited volumes of irrigation water. In regions where irrigation is possible, e.g. the Lower Olifants River, low winter rainfall in the catchment areas frequently results in water restrictions being imposed. During droughts, vineyards generally produce low yields with the possibility of poor wine quality. Drought tolerance refers to the degree to which a plant is adapted to arid or drought conditions. Therefore, the risk of yield losses for dryland, as well as irrigated vineyards could be reduced if drought tolerant scion cultivars are planted more extensively. Although rootstocks can also play an important role in the drought tolerance of grapevines, a survey among viticulturists indicated that the project should focus on the evaluation of alternative scion cultivars. Furthermore, the role of rootstocks in drought tolerance is already being addressed by a research project funded by Winetech (Project 000299). Therefore, the objective of the project is to determine the drought tolerance of selected alternative scion cultivars in comparison to reference cultivars.

– Record end –

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