Combined approach for on-the-go monitoring of grapevine water status

by | Aug 25, 2022 | South Africa Wine Scan



The goal of this work was to develop a methodology, based on the combined use of environmental and multispectral data, acquired from a moving vehicle, contemporarily to thermal canopy measurements using a simple infrared radiometer, as a potential approach to provide an improved estimation of the vineyard water status. The underlying hypothesis is that this combination of data, acquired with different technologies, may outperform the capability of a single technology to determine physiological parameters of the vineyard, such as water status.

Background & Methods

Efficient irrigation in viticulture requires objective and representative monitoring of the vineyard water status variability. In this work the combination of multispectral, environmental and thermal data (using an infrared radiometer) acquired simultaneously on-the-go (at midday), from a ground moving vehicle (moving at 3 km/h) was tested to assess the vineyard stem water potential (Ψs) and its spatial variability (three different irrigation treatments were imposed) over two seasons in north Spain.


Partial least squares (PLS) cross-validation regression models involving the canopy temperature (Tc), environmental and spectral variables yielded determination coefficients (R2cv) of ~ 0.63 and root mean square error of cross-validation (RMSECV) between 0.124 MPa and 0.206 MPa in the two seasons.

Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) involving only the variables used to build the regression models was run to distinguish among low, medium and high water stressed vines, yielding an average percentage of correct classification samples of 74%.

The satisfactory performance of the multivariate models involving thermal, environmental and spectral data to either estimate or classify the plant water status within a vineyard supports the approach towards the combination of different data sources to improve the capabilities of thermography itself. The inclusion of vegetative spectral indices in the regression and classification models of grapevine water status may provide real-time feedback on grapevine water use as influenced by actual vegetative growth, abiotic and/or biotic stress patterns.

Significance of the study

This combined approach can be seen as an advancement from existing solutions to assess plant water status variability given the simplicity and potential to automation of the thermal sensor employed and the integration of environmental and canopy vigour data into the model.


María Paz Diago, Javier Tardaguila, Ignacio Barrio, Juan Fernández-Novales, Combination of multispectral imagery, environmental data and thermography for on-the-go monitoring of the grapevine water status in commercial vineyards, European Journal of Agronomy, Volume 140, 2022, 126586

Link to article

This abstract is republished in its original form, with headings and Aim paragraph inserted, as permitted by the following Creative Commons licence:

Image credit: Pixabay


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