Mechanical behaviour of grapevine wood affected by Xylotrechus arvicola
Rodríguez-González , Álvaro
Casquero, Pedro A.
Pereira, José A.
Morán-Del Pozo, Julia M.
The cerambycid insect Xylotrechus arvicola is considered a pest that affects the wood of the grapevine (Vitis vinifera) in the major wine areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The larva of this insect perforates the grapevine wood, resulting in structural and biomechanical failure of the vine plants. Vine samples from wood damaged by Xylotrechus arvicola larvae were picked up from different vineyards and grape varieties. Compressive and flexural tests were performed in order to assess the mechanical behaviour of the wood samples. Total length of the cracks in wood samples (TLCWS) that appeared on the surface of the grapevine wood samples after the mechanical tests was measured. Compressive strength (CS) and flexural strength (FS) decreased with the increase of the cross-sectional area (CSA) of both branches and trunks, regardless of damage condition or water content. Moreover, the resistance was lower in damaged wood. In addition, this was verified through the linear regression coefficients of the interaction CS x CSA and FS x CSA. TLCWS in branches and trunks of damaged samples was greater that in undamaged samples. Also, TLCWS within the same damage condition and part of the plant was higher in dry samples than in fresh samples. The damaged wood would show a higher vulnerability to common mechanical stress suffered by the grapevines in the field including heavy winds, fruit overweight or harvesting machines shaking (when mechanically collected). Larvae of this insect altered the mechanical behaviour of the trunk and branches of grapevine wood. The mechanical strength of wood was more negatively affected when the CSA of the branches and trunks increased. Longer TLCWS was found in affected wood.of an emerging grape pest, Xylotrechus arvicola (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)