Articles | Volume 1, issue 1
SOIL, 1, 273–286, 2015

Special issue: Geosciences and wine: the environmental processes that regulate...

SOIL, 1, 273–286, 2015

Review article 17 Mar 2015

Review article | 17 Mar 2015

The use of soil electrical resistivity to monitor plant and soil water relationships in vineyards

L. Brillante1, O. Mathieu1, B. Bois1,2, C. van Leeuwen3, and J. Lévêque1 L. Brillante et al.
  • 1UMR CNRS 6282 Biogéosciences, Université de Bourgogne, 6 Boulevard Gabriel, 21000 Dijon, France
  • 2Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin "Jules Guyot", Rue Claude Laudrey, BP 27877, 21078 Dijon, France
  • 3Bordeaux Sciences Agro, ISVV, Ecophysiology and Functional Genomics of Grapevines, UMR 1287, Université de Bordeaux, 33140 Villenave d'Ornon, France

Abstract. Soil water availability deeply affects plant physiology. In viticulture it is considered a major contributor to the "terroir" effect. The assessment of soil water in field conditions is a difficult task, especially over large surfaces. New techniques are therefore required in order to better explore variations of soil water content in space and time with low disturbance and with great precision. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) meets these requirements for applications in plant sciences, agriculture and ecology. In this paper, possible techniques to develop models that allow the use of ERT to spatialise soil water available to plants are reviewed. An application of soil water monitoring using ERT in a grapevine plot in Burgundy (north-east France) during the vintage 2013 is presented. We observed the lateral heterogeneity of ERT-derived fraction of transpirable soil water (FTSW) variations, and differences in water uptake depend on grapevine water status (leaf water potentials measured both at predawn and at solar noon and contemporary to ERT monitoring). Active zones in soils for water movements were identified. The use of ERT in ecophysiological studies, with parallel monitoring of plant water status, is still rare. These methods are promising because they have the potential to reveal a hidden part of a major function of plant development: the capacity to extract water from the soil.

Short summary
The available soil water (ASW) is a major contributor to the viticulture "terroir". Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) allows for measurements of soil water accurately and with low disturbance. This work reviews the use of ERT to spatialise soil water and ASW. A case example is also presented: differences in water uptake (as evaluated by fraction of transpirable soil water variations) depending on grapevine water status (as measured by leaf water potential) are evidenced and mapped.