Category: About the project

Modelling for Future Climate Change

By: Sigfredo Fuentes

As the effects of climate change on Australian agriculture become more apparent, the importance of monitoring changing weather conditions and their diverse impacts will grow to paramount importance. Flexible and scalable processes for data analysis and modelling, particularly image and sensor data, are an essential part of how we monitor and respond to our changing environment. But more than that, we must foster a new generation of scientists and engineers who possess not only the technical skills to analyse this data, but the critical thinking and innovative aptitude to turn it into more sustainable outcomes for our economies, communities, and the entire planet.    Full Article: ea Magazinei-mk8

Size does not matter for infrared water status assessment: Newly-developed infrared scanners could offer comparable results against high-resolution thermal cameras

Download Full article by clicking here: IRScannerFuentes et alscan








The Vineyard of the Future initiative is a multinational project that aims to establish a fully instrumented vineyard using wireless connectivity and automated data gathering and analysis. It also aims to be a test-bed for new technology and a trial site for investigating the potential effects of climate change on viticulture in Australia, Chile, US and Spain. Researchers involved with the project have been developing an infrared scanner to assess plant water status at a fraction of the cost of infrared cameras and with the same comparable results.


What grapevines do when everybody is sleeping?

New study shows results of night-time water losses for grapevines.

By Sigfredo Fuentes



Night-time water uptake (Sn) mainly corresponds to stem and organ rehydration and transpiration, the latter through stomata and cuticle. Nocturnal transpiration is uncoupled from photosynthesis, therefore it contributes to reduce water use efficiency (WUE). Night-time grapevine physiology was measured on field grown grapevines (cv. Shiraz) under partial root-zone drying (PRD) and deficit irrigation (Exp 1), on potted vines (cv. Tempranillo) (Exp. 2) and on potted vines (cv. Cabernet Sauvignon) on a progressive drought treatment in the glasshouse (Exp. 3). Sap flow probes using the compensated heat pulse method (cHP) were installed in vines (Exp. 1 and 3). Night-time gas exchange measurements were performed for Exp. 3. Other vine water status monitoring methods used were: midday stem water potential (Ψs) for all experiments, and abscisic acid (ABA) concentration monitored from leaf sap for Exp. 3. Results showed that Sn was parabolically correlated to Ψs measured on the previous day for all treatments and cultivars. Two distinct zones where vines exhibit different night-time behaviour within the Ψs vs Sn parabolic relationships were identified for all experiments. The differences between the two identified areas were related to the water status conditions of the vines:  i) non-water stress conditions (0 < Ψs < -1.0 MPa); ii) water stress conditions (-1.0 MPa < Ψs < -2.0 MPa). Furthermore, levels of water stress were negatively correlated to concentrations of leaf sap ABA, which helped to explain the parabolic curve found for cv. Cabernet Sauvignon.

Link to full article, click NighttimeVines

Changing the vineyard for climate change

THE EXTREME EFFECTS of climate change are taking their toll on the viticulture industry, making the future of vineyards here and abroad uncertain. Which is why University of Melbourne wine science lecturer Dr Sigfredo Fuentes and a team of researchers around the world are developing a project to better arm the industry against that change. Vineyard of the Future (VoF) is being conducted in Australia, Chile, Spain and the US.

Full Article: VOF 2014 IR