Current and continuing climate change in the Anthropocene epoch requires sustainable agricultural practices. Additionally, due to changing consumer preferences, organic approaches to cultivation are gaining popularity. The global market for organic grapes, grape products, and wine is growing. Biostimulant and biocontrol products are often applied in organic vineyards and can reduce the synthetic fertilizer, pesticide, and fungicide requirements of a vineyard. Plant growth promotion following application is also observed under a variety of challenging conditions associated with global warming. This paper reviews different groups of biostimulants and their effects on viticulture, including microorganisms, protein hydrolysates, humic acids, pyrogenic materials, and seaweed extracts. Of special interest are biostimulants with utility in protecting plants against the effects of climate change, including drought and heat stress. While many beneficial effects have been reported following the application of these materials, most studies lack a mechanistic explanation, and important parameters are often undefined (e.g., soil characteristics and nutrient availability). We recommend an increased study of the underlying mechanisms of these products to enable the selection of proper biostimulants, application methods, and dosage in viticulture. A detailed understanding of processes dictating beneficial effects in vineyards following application may allow for biostimulants with increased efficacy, uptake, and sustainability.
- biological agents