Accuracy of interpolated versus in-vineyard sensor climate data for heat accumulation modelling of phenology

Paula Pipan, Andrew Hall, Suzy Rogiers, Bruno Holzapfel

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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Background and Aims: In response to global heating, accurate climate data are required to calculate climatic indices for long-term decisions about vineyard management, vineyard site selection, varieties planted and to predict phenological development. The availability of spatially interpolated climate data has the potential to make viticultural climate analyses possible at specific sites without the expense and uncertainty of collecting climate data within vineyards. The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy and precision of climatic indices calculated using an on-site climate sensor and an interpolated climate dataset to assess whether the effect of spatial variability in climate at this fine spatial scale significantly affects phonological modelling outcomes.

Methods and Results: Four sites comprising two topographically homogenous vineyards and two topographically diverse vineyards in three wine regions in Victoria (Australia) were studied across four growing seasons. A freely available database of interpolated Australian climate data based on government climate station records (Scientific Information for Land Owners, SILO) provided temperature data for grid cells containing the sites (resolution 0.05° latitude by 0.05° longitude, approximately 5 km × 5 km). In-vineyard data loggers collected temperature data for the same time period. The results indicated that the only significant difference between the two climate data sources was the minimum temperatures in the topographically varied vineyards where night-time thermal layering is likely to occur.

Conclusion: The interpolated climate data closely matched the in-vineyard recorded maximum temperatures in all cases and minimum temperatures for the topographically homogeneous vineyards. However, minimum temperatures were not as accurately predicted by the interpolated data for the topographically complex sites. Therefore, this specific interpolated dataset was a reasonable substitute for in-vineyard collected data only for vineyard sites that are unlikely to experience night-time thermal layering.

Significance of the Study: Access to accurate climate data from a free interpolation service, such as SILO provides a valuable tool tomanage blocks or sections within vineyards more precisely for vineyards that do not have a weather station on site. Care, nevertheless, is required to account for minimum temperature discrepancies in topographically varied vineyards, due to the potential for cool air pooling at night, that may not be reflected in interpolated climate data.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1397
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2021


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