The goal of this study was to test the usefulness of high-spatial resolution information provided by airborne imagery and soil electrical properties to define plant water restriction zones within-vineyards. The main contribution of this is to propose a study on a large area representing the regions’ vineyard diversity (different age, different varieties and different soils) located in southern France (Languedoc-Roussillon region, France). Nine non-irrigated plots were selected for this work in 2006 and 2007. In each plot, different zones were defined using the high-spatial resolution (1 m2) information provided by airborne imagery (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index, NDVI). Within each zone, measurements were conducted to assess: (i) vine water status (Pre-dawn Leaf Water Potential, PLWP), (ii) vine vegetative expression (vine trunk circumference and canopy area), (iii) soil electrical resistivity and, (iv) harvest quantity and quality. Large differences were observed for vegetative expression, yield and plant water status between the individual NDVI-defined zones. Significant differences were also observed for soil resistivity and vine trunk circumference, suggesting the temporal stability of the zoning and its relevance to defining vine water status zones. The NDVI zoning could not be related to the observed differences in quality, thus showing the limitations in using this approach to assess grape quality under non-irrigated conditions. The paper concludes with the approach that is currently being considered: using NDVI zones (corresponding to plant water restriction zones) in association with soil electrical resistivity and plant water status measurements to provide an assessment of the spatial variability of grape production at harvest.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 14, 2008
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