Grapevine Response to Stress Generated by Excessive Temperatures during the Budburst

Sergio Tombesi, Paolo Sabbatini, Tommaso Frioni, Francesca Grisafi, Federica Barone, Paolo Zani, Alberto Palliotti, Stefano Poni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


At springtime, the formation of stem somatic traits (stem elongation and leaf growth) and reproductive activity (flowering and fruit set) occur simultaneously. They are all competing carbon sinks, with an extremely high demand for carbohydrates. The shoot growth rate is strongly related to environmental temperature, which, according to climate change scenarios, is expected to increase also in extremes. Our hypothesis was that the increase in temperature during budburst could increase the vegetative carbon sink strength reducing the carbon stock available for the reproductive activity jeopardizing flowering of the next year. In our experiment, we artificially conditioned grapevine budburst by exposing the growing shoots to different temperature regimes. Higher temperatures during the spring vegetative growth favored shoot stem extension at the detriment of shoot leaf area. This caused a reduction in vine CO2 assimilation, which, combined with the competition of the growing vegetative organs, affected the concurrent reproductive activity, with carry-over effects on the following year, resulting in a limited flower initiation in dormant buds. These results suggest that the increase in springtime temperature can alter canopy development and vine physiology, resulting in the reduction in reproductive activity with an economical negative impact on grapevine productivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-203
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Bud fruitfulness
  • Carbon partitioning
  • Climate change
  • Grapevine
  • Temperature
  • Yield


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