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Building Resilient Vineyards through Cultivar Diversity, Elizabeth Wolkovich, UBC

Predicted impacts of climate change on crops include major yield declines and the loss of conservation lands as agriculture geographically shifts with changing temperature and rainfall patterns. Such projections, however, rarely include options for growers to change their practices in step with climate change. Negative impacts of climate change on crops could be mitigated by adaptation strategies, including exploiting existing diversity within crops. Here I review this possibility for winegrapes, with a focus globally and locally in the Okanagan winegrowing region. Globally, winegrapes possess tremendous diversity across their 1,100 planted cultivars (varieties) in traits that affect responses to climate, such as phenology (timing of recurring seasonal events such as budburst, flowering and veraison) and drought tolerance. Shifting cultivars can help maintain most current growing regions in place given moderate levels of warming, but benefits decline at higher warming levels. Thus, cultivar diversity can greatly reduce agricultural losses globally, but its effectiveness will depend on global decisions regarding future emissions and how well the approach can be adapted to spatial and temporal scales relevant to growers. Working with growers in the Okanagan, I am developing new models at relevant local scales to predict phenology, from budburst to sugar maturity, for winegrapes. Such models can help build resilient local agricultural systems by guiding management each season and, in the longer-term, by guiding planting decisions through future projections. Beyond winegrowers in the Okanagan, this general approach may apply to diverse crops across BC (e.g., apples, cherries, blueberries).

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Building Resilient Vineyards through Cultivar Diversity, Elizabeth Wolkovich, UBC

  1. 1. Building ResilientVineyards through cultivar diversity Elizabeth M.Wolkovich University of British Columbia
  2. 2. Châteauneuf-du-Pape harvests 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 05102030 year Harvestrelativeto31August Year
  3. 3. Earlier harvest dates track warming Wolkovich & Morales-Castilla 2018
  4. 4. Shifts in berry measures • Earlier harvest = warmer harvest which means: - Higher alcohol - Higher pH - Lower acidity Van Leeuwen & Destrac-Irvine 2017
  5. 5. Châteauneuf-du-Pape harvests 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 05102030 year Harvestrelativeto31August Year
  6. 6. Châteauneuf-du-Pape harvests 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 05102030 year Harvestrelativeto31August Year
  7. 7. Châteauneuf-du-Pape harvests 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 05102030 year Harvestrelativeto31August Year
  8. 8. Châteauneuf-du-Pape harvests 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 05102030 year Harvestrelativeto31August Year
  9. 9. Climate change projections Hannah et al. 2013 “Area suitable for viticulture decreases 25% to 73% in major wine producing regions by 2050”
  10. 10. Hannah et al. 2013 Most projections ignore that growers can adapt
  11. 11. Hannah et al. 2013 Most projections ignore cultivar diversity
  12. 12. Many crops harbor high diversity Early harvest (i.e., late September) Late harvest (+ 2-3 weeks after Pinot) Pinot Noir Cabernet-Sauvignon
  13. 13. Diversity harbors critical traits • Climate traits: • Ripening time • Heat tolerance • Drought tolerance Data from Domaine de Vassal, INRA
  14. 14. Over 1,100 varieties of winegrapes Data from Anderson & Aryal, 2013
  15. 15. Most diversity under-exploited Data from Anderson & Aryal, 2013
  16. 16. Except in ‘Old World’ regions Data from Anderson & Aryal, 2013
  17. 17. Exploit existing diversity Early harvest (i.e., late September) + 2-3 weeks Pinot Noir Cabernet-Sauvignon Very late harvest + 4-5 weeks Xinomavro
  18. 18. Build diversity into projections Hannah et al. 2013
  19. 19. Winegrape phenology is predictable Predicted phenology (DOY) February September
  20. 20. Pinot noir example Phenology predicts distribution Morales-Castilla et al.
  21. 21. Future predicted regions at 2ºC Morales-Castilla et al. Cultivar diversity 0°C 1 11 Cultivar diversity 2ºC
  22. 22. Future predicted regions at 2ºC Morales-Castilla et al. Cultivar diversity 0°C 1 11 Cultivar diversity 2ºC Cultivar diversity more than halved projected losses of current winegrowing areas, decreasing areas lost from 56% to 24%.
  23. 23. Next steps • More variety-specific models • Modeling winegrape phenology for a warming Okanagan
  24. 24. Thanks Ignacio Moralles Castilla, Iñaki Garcia de Cortazar Atuari, Thierry Lacombe,Andy Walker

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