How Can Winegrowers Adapt to Climate Change? A Participatory Modeling Approach in Southern France
32 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2022
Context: Climate change threatens wine growing systems in varying ways because of their diversity, even at a local scale. This diversity needs to be considered when designing and assessing adaptation strategies, that can combine adaptation measures in time and space to coordinate better with these diverse local conditions. Objective: We developed a participatory modeling approach to (1) design adaptation strategies in a viticultural watershed in southern France, (2) numerically evaluate their effects under future climatic conditions, and (3) discuss the results with stakeholders.Methods : We organized two sets of collective workshops, before and after a modeling phase. During the workshops, we designed four adaptation strategies that assembled various adaptation measures. A spatially explicit model was used to evaluate the effects of six adaptation measures (late varieties, irrigation, reducing canopy size, adjusting cover cropping, reducing density, and shading) as well as vineyard relocation, alone and in combinations, at field and watershed scales. Simulations were realized under a high-emissions climate change scenario RCP 8.5. Model-based evaluation was followed by discussions with stakeholders. The cost-effectiveness of adaptation strategies was estimated at farm scale.Results and conclusions : Delayed harvest strategy with currently available late varietals provided only minimal relief from high temperature during ripening. Water stress limitation strategy would compensate for production losses if disruptive adaptations (e.g., reduced density) were adopted and if more vineyards were irrigated. Relocation strategy would encourage premium wine production in the constrained mountainous areas, where grapevines are less impacted by climate change. Soil improvement strategy was mentioned but not evaluated in the model due to the lack of data and knowledge on the possible improvement of soil water holding capacity.Significance : The sharing of knowledge between researchers, technical experts, and wine growers enabled the construction of a common understanding of the impacts and adaptation potential to climate change in the watershed. In further research, this knowledge would help decision makers to define pathways for adaptive actions at farm scale.
Keywords: adaptation strategy, climate change, grapevine, landscape model, participatory design, water-saving practices
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