Management of water deficit based on the use of vegetation indices


Validating tools to support the monitoring of the vineyard water status in the Douro region is the main objective of the project Management of water deficit based on the use of vegetation indices, supported by a protocol of collaboration between the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (FCUP) and ADVID, which began in 2014. Real Companhia Velha and Symington Vinhos participate as stakeholders in this project.

This project aims to evaluate the potential of using vegetation indices based on reflectance data to estimate the vineyard water status, as an alternative to the base water potential.

Obtaining data on the base water potential, conventionally used as indicators of the vineyard water status, is an expensive task in terms of time and labour, particularly when the intention is to sample large plots. As such, the evaluation of the potential of alternative methodologies for measuring the vineyard water status, which are non-destructive and easier to operate, should be considered. Given the proven correlation between plant spectral response and several of its morphological and biophysical parameters, information about plant reflectance has been investigated in the last decades for crop monitoring, including its water status. In this context, FCUP and ADVID have been testing the potential use of spectral information to estimate the baseline water potential in Douro vineyards.