Authors: Jorge Andres Morandé, Christine M Stockert, Garrett C Liles, John N Williams, David R Smart, Joshua H Viers
Background: Quantifying terrestrial carbon (C) stocks in vineyards represents an important opportunity for estimating C sequestration in perennial cropping systems. Considering 7.2 M ha are dedicated to winegrape production globally, the potential for annual C capture and storage in this crop is of interest to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. In this study, we used destructive sampling to measure C stocks in the woody biomass of 15-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines from a vineyard in California’s northern San Joaquin Valley. We characterize C stocks in terms of allometric variation between biomass fractions of roots, aboveground wood, canes, leaves and fruits, and then test correlations between easy-to-measure variables such as trunk diameter, pruning weights and harvest weight to vine biomass fractions. Carbon stocks at the vineyard block scale were validated from biomass mounds generated during vineyard removal.
Results: Total vine C was estimated at 12.3 Mg C ha−1, of which 8.9 Mg C ha−1 came from perennial vine biomass. Annual biomass was estimated at 1.7 Mg C ha−1 from leaves and canes and 1.7 Mg C ha−1 from fruit. Strong, positive correlations were found between the diameter of the trunk and overall woody C stocks (R2 = 0.85), pruning weights and leaf and fruit C stocks (R2 = 0.93), and between fruit weight and annual C stocks (R2 = 0.96).
Conclusions: Vineyard C partitioning obtained in this study provides detailed C storage estimations in order to understand the spatial and temporal distribution of winegrape C. Allometric equations based on simple and practical biomass and biometric measurements could enable winegrape growers to more easily estimate existing and future C stocks by scaling up from berries and vines to vineyard blocks.