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Response of grapevine phenology to recent temperature change and variability in the wine-producing area of Sremski Karlovci, Serbia

The Journal of agricultural science 2016 v.154 no.2 pp. 186-206
Vitis vinifera, cultivars, flowering, growing season, harvest date, phenology, ripening, temperature, viticulture, wine grapes, Serbia
The historical temperature (1981–2007) and phenological (1986–2011) data were analysed for the region of Sremski Karlovci, one of the oldest grapevine growing areas in Europe, with the aim of detecting trends of changes in the data, evaluating the sensitivity of grapevine phenology to temperature and revealing diversity among cultivars in their response to observed changes in temperature. The onset dates of four major phenological stages (budburst, flowering, veraison and harvest), along with the corresponding growth intervals between them, were examined for 20 wine grape cultivars. A number of climatically important parameters for viticulture were calculated for the calendar year, growing season and different grapevine growth periods. Significant increases were detected in average and heat-related extreme temperature indices. The greatest rate of change in temperature variables across the growing season was observed during the period from the beginning of flowering to the beginning of veraison and the smallest during the ripening period. Linear trends indicated that all phenological stages, except budburst, have advanced significantly. Averaged across all cultivars, detected trends were –0·4, –0·7 and –0·6 days/year for the beginning of flowering, the beginning of veraison and harvest date, respectively. Observed warming and change in the timing of phenological events did not significantly affect the duration of the growth intervals, which can be explained by significant inter-correlation between the phenological stages’ onset. Ripening was occurring under warmer conditions due to earlier flowering and veraison, rather than because of considerably higher temperatures preceding harvest or shortening of the ripening period. Most of the variation in phenology timing (74–90%) can be explained by a linear relationship between the onset date of phenological stage and temperature, with mean and maximum temperatures being more important than minimum temperatures. According to the current results, a 1 °C increase in the most influential temperature variable during the most relevant periods for the onset of phenological stages led to an advancement in the beginning of budburst, the beginning of flowering, the beginning of veraison and harvest by 3·6, 3·1, 5·2 and 7·4 days, respectively, on average for all cultivars. Among the cultivars studied, Pinot Noir displayed the greatest phenology advancement in response to increased temperature.