There is strong competition between the different parts of the vine, and the bunches are weak sinks until ripening commences (Hale and Weaver 1962). Post-veraison, carbohydrates are imported into the berry at a higher rate and clusters become very competitive sinks. However, shoot growth during ripening may slow sugar accumulation in the berry. At any stage, berry growth and development are affected by modification of the carbohydrate supply to the berry. These modifications are brought about by adjusting the number of bunches in relation to the leaf area in order to achieve the required grape maturation. With regard to leaf removal, a large decrease in leaf area just after fruit set can induce a reduction in berry growth. In this situation, Kaps and Cahoon (1992) showed that berry weight at maturity is related to the ratio leaf area/fruit weight. Noteworthy in our dataset for fresh weight and berry water content (Fig. 2a,c), val ues compared between two levels of water status and two leaf area treatments showed significant differences for vine water status, especially during the latter part of the season, and any difference for the ratio leaf area/fruit. Berry dry weight was less influenced (Fig. 2b).
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