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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 22(7)

Short-term physiological effects of smoke on grapevine leaves

T. L. Bell A B D, S. L. Stephens C and M. A. Moritz C

A Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2015, Australia.
B Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre, East Melbourne, Vic. 3002, Australia.
C Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
D Corresponding author. Email: tina.bell@sydney.edu.au

International Journal of Wildland Fire 22(7) 933-946 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF12140
Submitted: 21 August 2012  Accepted: 15 March 2013   Published: 23 July 2013

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In recent years, bushfires and prescribed burns have caused substantial economic loss to the wine industry due to smoke taint, which makes wine unpalatable. Considerable research is being done to ameliorate smoke taint but the information available about the effect of smoke on grapevines is limited. We examined the physiological effects of short-term exposure to smoke on leaves of several varieties of grapevines. Gas exchange was measured before and after short-term exposure of leaves to smoke that was produced by combustion of two different fuels. For most varieties, short-term exposure to smoke had little effect on leaf physiology. For varieties that were affected by smoke, patterns of recovery of leaf physiology depended on fuel type. Short-term exposure to smoke had, at best, no significant effect and, at worst, only temporary effects on functioning of leaves. All varieties had recovered to pre-smoke functioning within 48 h. This study will contribute to the growing body of information relevant to fire and land management agencies and the wine industry in fire-prone areas including Australia, North and South America and Europe.

Additional keywords: bushfire, gas exchange, photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, transpiration.


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