Windbreaks as part of climate-smart landscapes reduce evapotranspiration in vineyards, Western Cape Province, South Africa

https://doi.org/10.17221/616/2019-PSECitation:Veste M., Littmann T., Kunneke A., du Toit B., Seifert T. (2020): Windbreaks as part of climate-smart landscapes reduce evapotranspiration in vineyards, Western Cape Province, South Africa. Plant Soil Environ., 66: 119-127.
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Under the conditions of climate change in South Africa, ecological and technical measures are needed to reduce the water consumption of irrigated crops. Windbreak hedges are long-rated systems in agriculture that significantly reduce wind speed. Their possibilities to reduce evapotranspiration and water demand are being investigated at a vineyard in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Detailed measurements of meteorological parameters relevant for the computation of reference and crop-specific evapotranspiration following the FAO 56 approaches within a vineyard in the Western Cape Province of South Africa have shown the beneficial effect of an existing hedgerow consisting of 6 m high poplars (Populus simonii (Carrière) Wesm.). With reference to a control station in the open field, the mean wind speed in a position about 18 m from the hedgerow at canopy level (2 m) was reduced by 27.6% over the entire year and by 39.2% over the summer growing season. This effect leads to a parallel reduction of reference evapotranspiration of 15.5% during the whole year and of 18.4% over the growing season. When applying empirical crop-specific Kc values for well-irrigated grapes, the reduction of evapotranspiration is 18.8% over the summer growth period. The introduced tree shelterbelts are a suitable eco-engineering approach to reduce water consumption and to enhance water saving in vineyards.

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