Aims: An analysis of the asynchrony and dynamics of dry matter accumulation and water content in the grape berries growth period (Vitis vinifera L.) was carried out on a macroscopic scale (berry population). Experimental studies suggest a framework to evaluate the asynchronous nature of grapevine maturation and to propose a simple model to simulate dry matter and water dynamics.
Methods and results:Amethodology based on the measurement of the density of the berries was used, providing information on the dry matter, water content and distribution of the berry populations during the veraison - harvest period. The main experiment was carried out in Rhone valley vineyards on the«Grenache N » and « Syrah » varieties. Additional information was gathered in Burgundy vineyards on « Pinot noir » and « Chardonnay » varieties. A relationship between the sugar content (°Brix) and water content of a berry was observed, which was robust and identical for all varieties. The asynchronous nature of berry growth was confirmed and densimetry allows quantifying the homogeneity of harvest. A model was proposed to modelling dry matter growth, based on thermal time and final potential dry weight. A single relationship was obtained for the two varieties studied which seemed to be independent of field conditions (soil and year). To model water content dynamics (or °Brix, using the relationship obtained between them), two components were defined, one of which is related to the berry phenological stage and the other depends on the water status of the plant.
Conclusion: The results provide a conceptual framework to better understand and represent the dynamics of dry matter accumulation and water content of a population of grape berries, and to evaluate the asynchronous nature of grapevine maturity.
Significance and impact of the study: The models and relationships proposed could be used as a tool to better identify and understand key factors and processes occurring in the field until the detailed processes of berry growth are better understood and can be incorporated into the model. This model could be incorporated into a crop model of vine growth.
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