Agronomy Research Expertise in Montpellier and Languedoc-Roussillon (South of France)

Agronomy : crops and cropping systems

Keywords :

Impact of global changes on water and agricultural productivity in the Mediterranean region

4. Preserving water resources

4. Preserving water resources

Mapping the water status in a vineyard by thermal infrared remote sensing. In situ device for measuring real evapotranspiration in a vineyard plot by the turbulent covariance method. - M.Galleguillos © UMR LISAH Agriculture has a vital socioeconomic development role in northern and southern Mediterranean regions. This sector is known to be particularly sensitive to current and future global changes. LISAH is contributing to the development of decision support tools and adaptation strategies for the benefit of agrosystems affected by these changes. Three major initiatives are currently under way.

In order to quantify water productivity on a catchment scale, the first initiative aims at estimating the water consumption of crops grown on hilly terrain and increasing the accuracy of agroclimatic models. This involves taking the impact of the wind into account under rugged landscape conditions and better simulating above-ground and root processes of crops. This project is focused within a small catchment area in Tunisia and will subsequently be applied on a regional scale (Cap Bon).

The second initiative concerns the use of remote sensing to generate information on the water status of plant cover on a regional scale. A study carried out on vineyards in La Peyne catchment (Hérault, France) revealed that the daily evapotranspiration and water status of a row crop could be mapped with a simple model. Further studies will focus on use of the estimates obtained to spatialize the water balance.

The third initiative uses future projections generated by general circulation models which indicate that, in addition to rising temperatures, rainfall averages should decline. A preliminary study on durum wheat in Tunisia showed that a change in the rainfall distribution during the year and a reduction in the cropping cycle length led to earlier planting and yield impacts that varied between regions. This study should be continued and extended to other regions.

Jean-Paul Lhomme,
Laurent Prévot,
& Frédéric Jacob,

Publication date: 30/05/2010


mapping the evaporative fraction in the Basse vallée de la Peyne region (Hérault, France) on the basis of a thermal infrared remote sensing Aster sensor image.



Update on 19/04/12


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