International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 109–118

The timing of bud burst and its effect on tree growth

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00484-003-0191-1

Cite this article as:
Rötzer, T., Grote, R. & Pretzsch, H. Int J Biometeorol (2004) 48: 109. doi:10.1007/s00484-003-0191-1


A phenology model for estimating the timings of bud burst – one of the most influential phenological phases for the simulation of tree growth – is presented in this study. The model calculates the timings of the leafing of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and oak (Quercus robur L.) and the May shoot of Norway spruce (Picea abies L.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) on the basis of the daily maximum temperature. The data for parameterisation and validation of the model have been taken from 40 climate and 120 phenological stations in southern Germany with time series for temperature and bud burst of up to 30 years. The validation of the phenology module by means of an independent data set showed correlation coefficients for comparisons between observed and simulated values of 54% (beech), 55% (oak), 59% (spruce) and 56% (pine) with mean absolute errors varying from 4.4 days (spruce) to 5.0 days (pine). These results correspond well with the results of other – often more complex – phenology models. After the phenology module had been implemented in the tree-growth model BALANCE, the growth of a mixed forest stand with the former static and the new dynamic timings for the bud burst was simulated. The results of the two simulation runs showed that phenology has to be taken into account when simulating forest growth, particularly in mixed stands.


Bud burstPhenologyModellingTree growthLeafing

Copyright information

© ISB 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technical University Munich, Department of Ecosystem- and Landscapemanagement, Chair of Forest Yield Science, Am Hochanger 13, 85 354 Freising, Germany