Experiments Are Necessary in Process-Based Tree Phenology Modelling

Heikki Hänninen*, Koen Kramer, Karen Tanino, Rui Zhang, Jiasheng Wu, Yongshuo H. Fu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


In boreal and temperate trees, air temperature is a major environmental factor regulating the timing of spring phenological events, such as vegetative bud burst, through underlying physiological processes. This has been established by experimental research, and mathematical process-based tree phenology models have been developed based on the results. The models have often been applied when assessing the effects of climate change. Currently, there is an increasing trend to develop process-based tree phenology models using only observational phenological records from natural conditions. We point out that this method runs a high risk of producing models that do not simulate the real physiological processes in the trees and discuss experimental designs facilitating the development of biologically realistic process-based models for tree spring phenology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-209
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number3
Early online date7 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • bud burst
  • climate change
  • dormancy
  • phenology
  • process-based modelling


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