A high-resolution cumulative degree day-based model to simulate phenological development of grapevine



D. Molitor, J. Junk, D. Evers, L. Hoffmann, and M. Beyer


American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 72-80, 2014


Common cumulative degree day models used to forecast grape growth stages often are only of local validity, restricted to a limited number of phenological stages, or do not take into consideration that the forcing effect of temperature is limited at higher temperatures. A new model was developed to simulate all 26 phenological stages (according to the BBCH scheme; Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundessortenamt und Chemische Industrie) of Vitis vinifera L. Müller-Thurgau between budburst and harvest. Sixty time series of grape phenology from four European countries were used to set up and validate the model. Three cumulative degree day models (starting with budburst: BBCH 09) with one, two, or three optimized temperature threshold values were compared. The incorporation of an upper threshold temperature, above which a further increase of the temperature will not accelerate plant development, and of a heat threshold, above which a further increase of the temperature leads to a development deceleration, significantly improved the accuracy of the model compared to previous cumulative degree day approaches. The threshold triplet 5ºC, 20ºC, and 22ºC for lower (base), upper, and heat threshold temperature, respectively, allowed the most precise forecast. In 70.5 or 95.8% of the cases, phenological stages were correctly predicted in 3 or 7 days (assuming daily mean temperatures of 20ºC), respectively, around the predicted cumulative degree day. The model can be used for a range of applications in viticultural research and practical viticulture and could further be parameterized for other varieties.


doi: 10.5344/ajev.2013.13066

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