Article: Night-time plant water loss: the unseen process for local and global footprint and water balance estimation in grapevines

By Sigfredo Fuentes1* , Roberta De Bei2  and Stephen Tyerman2

1 University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, Victoria 3010, Australia

2 School of Agriculture Food and Wine and Waite Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, Plant Research Centre,

Waite Campus, PMB 1 Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia

* Corresponding author:

Recent research has boosted understanding of the dynamics of night-time transpiration and water

rehydration of plants and grapevines, with the aim of obtaining amelioration strategies to maximise

water use efficiency for crops under a challenging climate.


Read full article here: Research Gate: Sigfredo Fuentes


Funding for a new Octocopter (VoF) Australia – University of Melbourne

Funding to design and construct a new Octocopter has been granted by the Melbourne School of Land and Environment to Dr Sigfredo Fuentes (Funding: AUD$ 60K). Part of this funding (AUD$ 20K) will be used to construct a customised Octocopter for plant water status and growth monitoring using infrared, multispectral and stereoscopic visible cameras.


The rest of the funding will be used to buy a Microphazir NIR spectrometer for grapevines, grape and wine research at MSLE:


First international VoF project won in 2013

The Vineyard of the Future (VoF) initiative has won the first project presented in Chile (FONDEF – IDEAS). The project is entitled:

“Development of a mobile system to generate thermal maps from crops to optimise irrigation scheduling”

mobil map

University of Talca (Chile): Dr Carlos Poblete and Dr Claudio Balbontin
University of Melbourne (Australia): Dr Sigfredo Fuentes
University of La Rioja (Spain): Prof. Javier Tardaguila
General objective: 
To develop an integrated device to obtain thermal maps using a mobile system that will capture spatial variability of water status within crops
Specific objectives:
  • To integrate infrared thermal sensors, GPS technology and automated data collection on board a terrestrial mobile system
  • To conduct field work in vineyards to acquire thermal data, plant water potential, soil water content and gas exchange data
  • To generate thermal maps showing the spatial distribution of temperatures within the field and associated plant water stress indices estimated using established algorithms
  • To develop an on-line SIG system for growers to visualise and interpret thermal maps to manage irrigation scheduling more efficiently
Funding: 2013-2017.
Total Funding: AUD$400K