Phenological Model Intercomparison for Estimating Grapevine Budbreak Date (Vitis vinifera L.) in Europe

Budbreak date in grapevine is strictly dependent on temperature, and the correct simulation of its occurrence is of great interest since it may have major consequences on the final yield and quality. In this study, we evaluated the reliability for budbreak simulation of two modeling approaches, the chilling-forcing (CF), which describes the entire dormancy period (endo- and eco-dormancy) and the forcing approach (F), which only describes the eco-dormancy. For this, we selected six phenological models that apply CF and F in different ways, which were tested on budbreak simulation of eight grapevine varieties cultivated at different latitudes in Europe. Although none of the compared models showed a clear supremacy over the others, models based on CF showed a generally higher estimation accuracy than F where fixed starting dates were adopted. In the latter models, the accurate simulation of budbreak was dependent on the selection of the starting date for forcing accumulation that changes according to the latitude, whereas CF models were independent. Indeed, distinct thermal requirements were found for the grapevine varieties cultivated in Northern and Southern Europe. This implies the need to improve modeling of the dormancy period to avoid under- or over-estimations of budbreak date under different environmental conditions.
chilling-forcing models , dormancy