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Jacoby Laboratory Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education

Project Background

In recent years, water scarcity has become a severe environmental factor that potentially impacts grape production in the western United States (NASS, 2016; Hoheisel and Moyer, 2015). While the prolonged drought in California and parts of the western U.S. may be partially interrupted by the El Nino effect at the beginning of 2016, long-term drought is anticipated to continue in western United States (U.S. drought monitor, 2016). Considering the importance of water for agricultural production in this region, more efficient irrigation strategies are needed to replace outdated practices which continue to waste water used through crop irrigation (Wiener et al., 2016; Postel, 2000). Subsurface irrigation has been proven effective in saving water (Du et al., 2015; Lamm et al., 2012; Sammis, 1980), and limitation of water during berry development has shown to enhance grape quality for red wines (Leeuwen et al., 2009; Osakabe et al., 2014). Previous research (Davenport et al., 2008; and Stevens et al., 1994) reported that under drip irrigation applied to the soil surface, root biomass of vines was concentrated within the upper 18 inches of the soil profile. Grapevines have been shown to have the ability to transfer water both laterally and horizontally from sources of water concentration to cope with temporary drought conditions (Bauerle et al., 2008; Smart et al., 2005; Caldwell et al., 1998.); however, root architecture generally appears be heavily influenced by the most readily available source of water.

Based on these published reports and personal observations from field settings, we have established several hypotheses to be considered in the proposed research project. Our review of the literature (above and below) has not revealed a study that has examined these hypotheses, suggesting our proposed research is unique.

List of 10 most pertinent references

  1. Bleby, T.M., A. J. McElrone, and R.B. Jackson. 2010. Water uptake and hydraulic redistribution across large woody root systems to 20 m depth. Plant, Cell & Environ. 33:2132-2148.
  2. Caldwell, M.M., T.E. Dawson, and J.H. Richards. 1998. Hydraulic lift: consequences of water efflux from the roots of plants. Oecologia 113 (2):151-161.
  3. Davenport, J.R., R.G. Stevens, and K.M. Whitley. 2008. Spatial and temporal distribution of soil moisture in drip-irrigated vineyards. HortSci. 43(1):229-235.
  4. Du, TD et al. 2015. Deficit irrigation and sustainable water-resource strategies in agriculture for China’s food security. J. Exp. Botany 66 (8): 2253-2269.
  5. Lamm, F.R., J.P. Bordovsky, L.J. Schwankl, G.L. Grabow, J. Enciso-Medina, R.T. Peters, P.D. Colaizzi, T.P. Trooien, and D.O. Porter. 2012. Subsurface drip irrigation: status of the technology in 2010. Trans. ASABE 55 (2):483-491.
  6. Leeuwen, CV et al. 2009. Vine water status is a key factor in grape ripening and vintage quality for red Bordeaux wine. How can it be assessed for vineyard management purposes? J. Int. Sci. Vigne Vin. 43 (3): 121-134.
  7. Osakabe, Y et al. 2014. Response of plants to water stress. Frontiers Plt. Sci., 5 (86): 1-8.
  8. Sammis, TW. 1980. Comparison of sprinkler, trickle, subsurface, and furrow irrigation methods for row crops. Agron. J. 72 (5): 701-704.
  9. Smart, D.R., E. Carlisle, M. Goebel, and B.A. Nunez. 2005. Transverse hydraulic redistribution by a grapevine. Plant, Cell and Environ. 28:157-166.
  10. Stevens, R.M and T. Douglas. 1994. Distribution of grapevine roots and salt under drip and full-ground cover microjet irrigation systems. Irrig. Sci. 12:181-186.