Effect of Shading Nets on Yield, Leaf Biomass and Petiole Nutrients of a Muscat of Alexandria Vineyard Growing under Hyper-Arid Conditions
Background: Currently, viticulture is exposed to extreme weather fluctuations and global warming, thus the implementation of short-term adaptation strategies to mitigate climate change impacts will be of a wide importance for the sustainability and competitiveness of wine industry. This research aimed to study the effect of shading nets on the viticultural performance of a Muscat of Alexandria vineyard growing under hyper-arid conditions. Methods: Three treatments were randomly arranged in the vineyard: (i) a control (without shading), (ii) a white shading net (25% of shading), and (iii) a black shading net (40% of shading). Subsequently, yield, vine vigor, berry composition, leaf biomass and petiole nutrient content were assessed. Results: Both shading nets decreased the incidence of solar radiation in vines. The application of white shading nets induced a high bunch weight and a higher number of berries per bunch than the black shading nets. Black shading nets increased pruning weight, decreased Ravaz index and induced a considerably accumulation of soluble solids in grapes. This treatment also decreased bunch weight and the number of berries per bunch, and increased rachis length compared to control. Black shading nets decreased Mg petiole content, leaf dry weight and leaf biomass at flowering compared to uncovered vines. Conclusions: Shading considerably affected the viticultural performance of Muscat of Alexandria vines growing under hyper-arid conditions, modifying yield, leaf biomass and petiole nutrients.
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