Our research projects

Photo: Manuel Gutjahr


Fruit tree Crop REsponses to Water deficit and decision support Systems applications
Coordinating Institute
Universita' degli Studi di Bologna
Morandi Brunella

Allocated to research program
Due to climate change water scarcity and increased evapotranspiration requirements are serious challenges for agriculture worldwide and are jeopardizing the future supply of many crop productions. As perennials, fruit tree crops are particularly threatened by this risk and growers need rational strategies to improve their orchards water use efficiency. This Action aims at understanding the physiological behaviour of fruit tree crops in response to drought stress, in different environments, and identifying the best tools to monitor plant water status in real time while allowing growers to precisely schedule irrigation through the adoption of new technologies. Activities will focus on 1) identifying the most useful physiological parameters to quantify drought stress using cost-effective and user-friendly sensor tools; 2) comparing and assessing the performance of existing models to quantify plant water needs under drought, for possible implementation in decision support systems (DSSs); 3) defining the most effective (deficit) irrigation strategies for different crops and environments and 4) identifying gaps for improving existing DSSs based on the knowledge generated by the network, while taking actions to facilitate their diffusion among stakeholders and adoption by end-users. Results from this Action will provide relevant information for making a step forward towards a more sustainable irrigation management of European orchards. In cooperation with researchers, SMEs, service providers, local water authorities and fruit producers, knowledge resulting from this network activity will be disseminated to a wide spectrum of European stakeholders and to the general public, making European fruit production more resilient and raising awareness of the problems related to water scarcity.

Europäische Union (EU)
Grant agreement number
Funding framework
COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology)