Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 135, Issue 3–4, pp 1215–1226 | Cite as

New insights into thermal growing conditions of Portuguese grapevine varieties under changing climates

  • João A. SantosEmail author
  • Ricardo Costa
  • Helder Fraga
Original Paper


New decision support tools for Portuguese viticulture are urging under a climate change context. In the present study, heat and chilling accumulation conditions of a collection of 44 grapevine cultivars currently grown in Portugal are assessed at very high spatial resolution (~ 1 km) and for 1981–2015. Two bioclimatic indices that incorporate non-linear plant-temperature relationships are selected for this purpose: growing degree hours—GDH (February–October) and chilling portions—CP (October–February). The current thermal growing conditions of each variety are examined and three clusters of grapevine cultivars are identified based on their GDH medians, thus assembling varieties with close heat accumulation requirements and providing more physiologically consistent information when compared to previous studies, as non-linear plant-temperature relationships are herein taken into account. These new clusters are also a complement to previous bioclimatic zoning. Ensemble mean projections under two anthropogenic-driven scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, 2041–2070), from four EURO-CORDEX simulations, reveal a widespread increase of GDH and decrease of CP, but with spatial heterogeneities. The spatial variability of these indices throughout Portugal is projected to decrease (strongest increases of GDH in the coolest regions of the northeast) and to increase (strongest decreases of CP in the warmest regions of the south and west), respectively. The typical heat accumulation conditions of each cluster are projected to gradually shift north-eastwards and to higher-elevation areas, whereas insufficient chilling may represent a new challenge in warmer future climates. An unprecedented level of detail for a large collection of grapevine varieties in Portugal is provided, thus promoting a better planning of climate change adaptation measures.


Grapevine Growing degree hours Chilling portions Climate change Euro-CORDEX Portugal 



This work was supported by the INNOVINE&WINE project (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000038), co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through NORTE 2020 Programme; the ModelVitiDouro project (PA 53774), funded by the Agricultural and Rural Development Fund (EAFRD) and the Portuguese Government (Measure 4.1—Cooperation for Innovation PRODER Programme—Rural Development Programme); European Investment Funds (FEDER/COMPETE/POCI), POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006958, and Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), UID/AGR/04033/2013. The postdoctoral fellowship of Helder Fraga, SFRH/BPD/119461/2016, is also acknowledged.

Supplementary material

704_2018_2443_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.5 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1548 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, CITABUniversidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, UTADVila RealPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de FísicaEscola de Ciências e TecnologiaVila RealPortugal

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