Influence of cane girdling and plastic covering on leaf gas exchange, water potential and viticultural performance of table grape cv. Matilde

  • L. Novello
  • L. de Palma
  • L. Tarricone
Keywords: Vitis vinifera, table grape, leaf net CO2 uptake, leaf transpiration, water relations, shoot growth


Canes of field-grown uncovered and covered (plastic film) table grapes, cv. Matilde, were girdled at veraison. Leaves of girdled vines displayed lower rates of transpiration on a leaf area basis and lower rates of CO2 uptake; stem and leaf water potentials were decreased. Both, covering and cane girdling stimulated vegetative growth and increased leaf area per vine. However, sugar accumulation in berries and fruit quality were not affected by cane girdling and were slightly reduced by covering. Therefore, harvesting dates were not advanced. Cane girdling appeared to influence carbohydrate partitioning by stimulating shoot growth at the expense of fruit production. It is concluded that the stage of rapid sugar accumulation was not yet reached by the time girdling took place. The development of a larger transpiring leaf surface area per vine is supposed to have lowered the vine water status.