Oeiras, Portugal
Oeiras, Portugal
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Costa J.M.,LEM ITQB | Vaz M.,University of Évora | Escalona J.,University of the Balearic Islands | Egipto R.,LEAF ISA | And 3 more authors.
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2016

Water is now considered the most important but vulnerable resource in the Mediterranean region. Nevertheless, irrigation expanded fast in the region (e.g. South Portugal and Spain) to mitigate environmental stress and to guarantee stable grape yield and quality. Sustainable wine production depends on sustainable water use in the wine's supply chain, from the vine to the bottle. Better understanding of grapevine stress physiology (e.g. water relations, temperature regulation, water use efficiency), more robust crop monitoring/phenotyping and implementation of best water management practices will help to mitigate climate effects and will enable significant water savings in the vineyard and winery. In this paper, we focused on the major vulnerabilities and opportunities of South European Mediterranean viticulture (e.g. in Portugal and Spain) and present a multi-level strategy (from plant to the consumer) to overcome region's weaknesses and support strategies for adaptation to water scarcity, promote sustainable water use and minimize the environmental impact of the sector. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Costa J.M.,University of Lisbon | Lopes C.M.,University of Lisbon | Rodrigues M.L.,University of Lisbon | Santos T.P.,University of Lisbon | And 4 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

Water is increasingly scarce in Mediterranean Europe and irrigated agriculture is one of the largest and most inefficient users of this natural resource. Ecological topics such as the "water foot print" have become more relevant for the academy, consumers, governments and food industry. The wine sector needs solutions to improve its economical and environmental sustainability. Agronomical solutions, such as deficit irrigation (water supply below full crop evapotranspiration) have emerged as a tool for more efficient water use in irrigated viticulture and with likely positive effects on berry quality. Improving our understanding on the physiological and molecular basis of grapevine responses to water stress is an important task for research on irrigated viticulture. Better knowledge of the different genotypic responses (e.g., leaf gas exchange) to water stress can help to optimize crop/soil management and improve yield as well as berry quality traits under unfavourable climate conditions. Mild water deficits have direct and/or indirect (via the light environment in the cluster zone) effects on berry growth and composition. Another important challenge is to determine how soil water deficit regulate genes and proteins of the various metabolic pathways influencing berry composition and consequently wine quality.

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