Potassium nutrition of Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) as affected by shoot trimming

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As potassium (K) requirement of grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) berries is high and phloem translocation from mature leaves to developing organs is well established, it was posited that shoot trimming, a widely applied technique which alters the source-sink balance and the mature-to-immature foliage ratio of a canopy, may influence K deficiency. Six-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines were grown in 0.045 m3 pots (one plant per pot) filled with a soil sampled from a vineyard previously displaying K deficiency symptoms. Two levels of K supply (K0, no K added; K1, 25 g K per pot added in five splits from bloom to post veraison) were tested on vines that for each level were left (a) untrimmed and trimmed at ten main leaves with (b) or without (c) maintenance of lateral shoots in a split-plot design. Potassium concentration of leaf blades, berries and canes, vegetative growth and leaf gas exchange were recorded throughout the season; yield, grape quality and must characteristics were determined at fruit maturity. While adding potassium to the soil resulted in higher K concentration in blades of both main and lateral shoots and berries at harvest, trimming with removal of lateral shoots resulted in lower blade K concentration of the main leaves at harvest and more severe K deficiency symptoms regardless of K soil availability. Berry K concentration and the fraction of whole-plant K partitioned to clusters were not significantly affected by trimming. Gas-exchange, vegetative growth, yield and grape quality were not affected by the seasonal K fertilization, whereas the latter was impaired when trimming with excision of lateral shoots was applied. The results indicate that if shoot trimming is not followed by an adequate regrowth of secondary shoots an excessive depletion of potassium from the retained old basal leaves occurs during fruit maturity and increases the risk of leaf K deficiency, particularly in the K0 treatment.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)341-351
Numero di pagine11
RivistaPlant and Soil
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2003


  • vine nutrition


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