Climate change impacts and adaptive strategies: lessons from the grapevine
Global Change Biology
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
The cultivation of grapevines for winemaking, known as viticulture, is widely cited as a climate-sensitive agricultural system that has been used as an indicator of both historic and contemporary climate change. Numerous studies have questioned the viability of major viticulture regions under future climate projections. We review the methods used to study the impacts of climate change on viticulture in the light of what is known about the effects of climate and weather on the yields and quality of vineyard harvests. Many potential impacts of climate change on viticulture, particularly those associated with a change in climate variability or seasonal weather patterns, are rarely captured. Key biophysical characteristics of viticulture are often unaccounted for, including the variability of grapevine phenology and the exploitation of microclimatic niches that permit successful cultivation under suboptimal macroclimatic conditions. We consider how these same biophysical characteristics permit a variety of strategies by which viticulture can adapt to changing climatic conditions. The ability to realize these strategies, however, is affected by uneven exposure to risks across the winemaking sector, and the evolving capacity for decision-making within and across organizational boundaries. The role grape provenance plays in shaping perceptions of wine value and quality illustrates how conflicts of interest influence decisions about adaptive strategies within the industry. We conclude by considering what lessons can be taken from viticulture for studies of climate change impacts and the capacity for adaptation in other agricultural and natural systems.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley via the DOI in this record
Vol. 22 (11), pp. 3814 - 3828
Place of publication