Winter Pruning Effect on Root Density, Root Distribution and Root/canopy Ratio in Vitis vinifera cv. Pinot Gris
As in any other plant, in the grapevine roots play a vital role in terms of anchorage, uptake of water and nutrients, as well as storage and production of chemicals. Their behaviour and development depend on various factors, namely rootstock genetics, soil physical and chemical features, field agronomic practices. Canopy management, involving techniques such as defoliation and pruning, could greatly influence root growth. To date, most of the studies on grapevine winter pruning have focused on
... ng have focused on the effects on yield and quality of grapes, achievable by using different pruning systems and techniques, while the knowledge of root distribution, development, and growth in relation to winter pruning is still not well understood. In this contest, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of winter pruning on the root system of field-grown Vitis vinifera cv. Pinot Gris grafted onto rootstock SO4. We compared two pruning treatments (pruning-P and no pruning-NP) and analysed the effect on root distribution and density, root index and on the root sugar reserves. Root data were analysed in relation to canopy growth and yield, to elucidate the effect of winter pruning on the root/yield ratio. Our data indicated that winter pruning stimulated the root growth and distribution without compromising canopy development, while no-pruning treatment produced less growth of roots but a larger canopy. Information regarding root growth and root canopy ratio is important as it gives us an understanding of the relationship between the aerial and subterranean parts of the plant, how they compete, and finally, offers us the possibility to ponder on cultural practices.