Dr Marcos Bonada

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Research Scientist

Marcos will be speaking in Session 9. Fresh Science B. Click here to see more. 


Modelling the potential of vineyard management practices to counteract heatwaves

Marcos Bonada1, Omar Garcia-Tejera2, Paul R. Petrie 1,3,4, Peter Hayman1,3 and Victor O. Sadras1,3

1The South Australian Research and Development Institute, Adelaide, SA, 5064; 2 Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries (IRTA), Parc de Gardeny, 25003, Lleida, Spain; 3 School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond, SA 5064; 4 College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Bedford Park, SA 5042

The combination of more frequent heatwaves and prolongated droughts have become a threat for the wine industry worldwide. Extreme temperatures during periods of limited water availability have the potential to disrupt fruit quality, and wine style, reduce yield and reduce vineyard sustainability. When studying heatwaves in the field it is difficult to investigate the multiple factors (vine, soil, weather and management practices) that interact to have a negative effect. To overcome these challenges, we performed a series of in-silico experiments using a biophysical model to explore vine response to a range of management practices during a heatwave. The interaction between soil available water and four practices to modify radiation load were evaluated: 1) increasing canopy reflectance with kaolin, reducing intercepted radiation by 2) shade cloth (50 %), or 3) by canopy trimming that modify vine geometry, and by 4) modifying row orientation.

The model captured the reduction in canopy conductance and increase in canopy temperature as the soil dried, and the modelled transpiration and canopy temperature compared well with field experiments. The modelled response suggested that the use of kaolin, shade cloth, canopy trimming, and row orientation could all potentially buffer the effect of reducing soil water on canopy temperature. However, reducing the radiation load cannot override the drop of leaf water potential during a heat wave, emphasising the importance of irrigation. The model showed to be a cost-effective and informative tool to guide to the relative effectiveness of the different management practices and potential field studies.


Dr Marcos Bonada is a Research Scientist in Viticulture at SARDI. He completed a Professional degree in Agricultural Engineering with Honours in Viticulture and Oenology in Argentina and finished his doctoral studies at The University of Adelaide in 2014. With an emphasis on applied research, he has been working on finding practical solutions to some of the most pressing problems for the wine industry. The main focus of his research has been in the area of heat stress and drought on vine physiology. Over the last years he has worked on projects seeking to identify irrigation practices that maintain productivity during dry seasons. Most recently, Marcos has collaborated on a research project identifying the drivers of Terroir in the Barossa Valley.