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Suphasuk Pradubsuk and Joan R. Davenport

Understanding how grape (Vitis L.) vines store nutrients in permanent tissues, how much nutrient vines take up from the soil, and how nutrients are partitioned and redistributed throughout the plant is critical to the development of sound nutrient management practices. This study investigated the seasonal patterns of macronutrient uptake and redistribution in whole ‘Concord’ grape (Vitis labruscana Bailey) vines. The study was conducted in a 42-year-old own-rooted ‘Concord’ vineyard. The site was a furrow-irrigated fine sandy loam. In 2006 and 2007, four vines were excavated at winter pruning, budbreak, three- to four-leaf stage, bloom, veraison, harvest, and postharvest. Each vine was separated into different organs, dried, and weighed to determine biomass, and then ground and analyzed for C, N, P, K, Ca, and Mg. The results showed that the seasonal dynamics of nutrient contents shared a consistent pattern: translocation of nutrients from woody tissues to actively growing organs at the beginning of the season; nutrient uptake from bloom to veraison (P and Mg in 2006), bloom to harvest (N, P, K, and Ca), or veraison to harvest (P and Mg in 2007); and nutrient movement to woody tissues occurring after veraison until leaf fall with no further nutrient uptake. There was a very high accumulation of Ca in permanent structures of the vine, reflecting the high Ca and CaCO3 found in the soils of the region. As a result, the vines had a higher Ca content than all other nutrients throughout the growing season, which is different from findings in other growing areas.

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Suphasuk Pradubsuk and Joan R. Davenport

This study investigated the distribution of the micronutrients boron (B), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) in 42-year-old ‘Concord’ grapevines (Vitis labruscana Bailey) grown in a calcareous soil to understand seasonal partitioning and distribution of micronutrients throughout various grapevine tissues. In 2006 and 2007, four vines each were excavated at winter pruning, budbreak, the three- to four-leaf stage, bloom, veraison, harvest, and postharvest. Separated plant organs were measured for biomass and analyzed for B, Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn. The results showed that seasonal patterns of micronutrient concentrations varied considerably with respect to organ and growth stage. Leaf blades, shoot tips, and petioles had the highest concentration of B at bloom and Mn at harvest, whereas Fe, Cu, and Zn concentrations were highest in fine roots but values varied over time each year. Whereas seasonal patterns of Fe, Cu, and Zn contents differed year by year, B and Mn contents had a similar pattern over both years. Translocation of B and Mn from woody tissue to actively growing organs occurred at the beginning of the season. The majority of B uptake occurred between bloom and veraison, whereas that of Mn occurred between bloom and harvest. There were similar B concentrations in shoot tips and leaf blades. Boron remobilization to woody tissues from the leaves occurred between veraison and harvest, suggesting moderate, late-season, phloem mobility of B in ‘Concord’ grapevines. Microsite differences in soil pH likely contribute to variable nutrient availability around the root system, demonstrated by high variability of Fe, Cu, and Zn contents in different vine organs.

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Suphasuk Pradubsuk, Joan R. Davenport, Robert G. Stevens and Eileen M. Perry

Collection and estimation of root material are likely some of the greatest challenges of whole-plant sampling. As with other perennial crops, season of sample collection is also a challenge in grape whole-plant sampling. Our interest is in collecting grape whole-plant samples from an established (>25-year-old) vineyard to study plant nutrient partitioning. Before launching into routine sampling, two techniques were compared for very fine, fine, and coarse root distribution. For very fine and fine root sampling, soil cores were collected in a radial pattern around the vine trunk at eight sample points, each either 20, 60, 120 cm from the trunk or 50, 100, and 150 cm from the trunk. Roots were washed from the soil material, separated into fractions and weighed. For evaluation of techniques for sampling fine and coarse roots, roots were either excavated by tracing them from the trunk in about a 1-m3 soil volume or by extracting about the same soil volume using a backhoe and shaking the soil free of the roots. Overall, the more narrow soil core sampling gave a greater total root mass and both the tracing and backhoe methods gave similar results. In addition, pruning weight measurement is also frequently measured in grape research. We compared using the NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) device, the “Greenseeker”™, with pruning mass to determine if this device could be used as a non-destructive measurement for grape pruning weight.