Grapevine responses to site-specific spatiotemporal factors in a Mediterranean climate

Noa Ohana-Levi, Danielle Ferman Mintz, Nave Hagag, Yossi Stern, Sarel Munitz, Yael Friedman-Levi, Nir Shacham, José M. Grünzweig, Yishai Netzer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Water availability in vineyards varies in space and time. The spatiotemporal variability of water availability to vines is affected by terrain, meteorology, and irrigation. This study aimed to analyze the response of vegetative and reproductive attributes of vines to spatiotemporal variability in water availability. We quantified the spatial autocorrelation of terrain covariates and grapevine attributes and determined the relative influence (RI) of the covariates on these attributes. In each of four growing seasons (2017–2020), in a Vitis vinifera cv. “Sauvignon Blanc” vineyard, five vegetative and reproductive attributes were collected for 240 vines. Terrain covariates included elevation, slope, aspect, topographic wetness index, and categorical landforms; and meteorological covariates consisted of annual rainfall and chilling hours. A Moran's I statistic was computed for each spatial covariate and each grapevine attribute during each season to define temporal changes in spatial variability. A multivariate analysis using gradient boosted regression trees algorithm was applied to extract the RI of the covariates. The results showed high spatial autocorrelation of the terrain covariates and a strong negative shift in spatial dependency of the grapevine attributes throughout the experiment. Yield and number of clusters per vine were highly affected by seasonal precipitation (RI of 46.15% and 42.59%), while changes in inter-seasonal cluster weight and pruning weight were highly subjected to irrigation amounts (RI of 23% and 26.66%), with complementary terrain influences. The number of canes per vine was mainly affected by terrain characteristics. Long-term changes in grapevine attributes depended on meteorological shifts, while higher precipitation amounts were associated with weaker responses of vines to irrigation strategies. The spatial patterns of terrain affected water distribution in the vineyard and controlled the spatial dynamics of grapevine attributes. Knowledge regarding the space-time trends of water availability effects on grapevine attributes may assist decision making of irrigation practices in vineyards.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number107226
JournalAgricultural Water Management
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Irrigation management
  • Spatial autocorrelation
  • Spatiotemporal analysis
  • Terrain
  • Vineyard
  • Water availability


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