A novel sunshine duration–based photothermal time model interprets the photosensitivity of flower maturity of pecan cultivars

  • Hua-Lin Ye
  • Qun-Ying Jin
  • Hua-Zheng PengEmail author
  • Tang-Jun ZhuEmail author
  • Jian-Jun Shen
  • Guo-Shuai Huang
  • Min Wang
Original Paper


Although it is well-known and established that light plays important roles in plant development, up to now, there is no substantial improvements in how to deal with the light factor of spring phenology under natural condition. By monitoring the local meteorologic data and mature dates of two types (male and female) of flower from four pecan cultivars during 9 years, it was found that the complementary pattern of growing degree day and sunshine duration helped to maintain a threshold of driving force related to the maturity of pecan flower during 9 years. A novel photothermal time model based on the linear combination of growing degree day and sunshine duration was then proposed and validated to interpret the variance of mature dates of pecan cultivars. Comparative analysis showed that the new model had made extremely significant improvements to the traditional thermal time model. In addition, this model introduced the conversion coefficient K, which quantified the effect of light on the flowering drive, and revealed the differences of base temperature among cultivars. This was the first time that sunshine duration instead of photoperiod was adopted to develop into a verified model on spring phenological event of tree species. It will help to model the spring phenologies of other tree species more reasonably.


Carya illinoinensis Photothermal time model Phenological model Growing degree day Sunshine duration 



This work was supported by Zhejiang Breeding Program (grant no. 2016C02052-13 to T.J.Z), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. LY17C150001 to H.Z.P and grant no. LY18C160003 to Q.Y.J), Zhejiang Province and Chinese Academy of Forestry Cooperation Projects (grant no. 2016SY04 to T.J.Z).

Supplementary material

484_2019_1787_MOESM1_ESM.xls (606 kb)
ESM 1 (XLS 606 kb)
484_2019_1787_MOESM2_ESM.xls (1.2 mb)
ESM 2 (XLS 1279 kb)


  1. Andres F, Coupland G (2012) The genetic basis of flowering responses to seasonal cues. Nat Rev Genet 13:627–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Basler D, Körner C (2012) Photoperiod sensitivity of bud burst in 14 temperate forest tree species. Agric For Meteorol 165:73–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Basler D, Korner C (2014) Photoperiod and temperature responses of bud swelling and bud burst in four temperate forest tree species. Tree Physiol 34:377–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blümel K, Chmielewski F (2012) Shortcomings of classical phenological forcing models and a way to overcome them. Agric For Meteorol 164:10–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chuine I, Cour P, Rousseau DD (1999) Selecting models to predict the timing of flowering of temperate trees: implications for tree phenology modelling. Plant Cell Environ 22:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chuine I, Morin X, Bugmann H (2010) Warming, photoperiods, and tree phenology. Science 329(277–278):278Google Scholar
  7. de Réaumur R-AF (1735) Observation du thermometre, faites to Paris pendant l’année 1735, comparées avec celles qui ont été faites sous la ligne, to the l’Isle of France, to Alger et en quelques-unites of in the l’Amérique isles. Mém Acad Give Sci 1735:545Google Scholar
  8. Desnoues E, Ferreira De Carvalho J, Zohner CM, Crowther TW (2017) The relative roles of local climate adaptation and phylogeny in determining leaf-out timing of temperate tree species. Forest Ecosyst 4Google Scholar
  9. Estiarte M, Puig G, Peñuelas J (2011) Large delay in flowering in continental versus coastal populations of a Mediterranean shrub. Globularia alypum. Int J Biometeorol 55:855–865Google Scholar
  10. Falusi M, Calamassi R (1990) Bud dormancy in beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). Effect of chilling and photoperiod on dormancy release of beech seedlings. Tree Physiol 6:429–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fitter AH, Fitter RS (2002) Rapid changes in flowering time in British plants. Science 296:1689–1691CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gauzere J, Delzon S, Davi H, Bonhomme M, Garcia De Cortazar-Atauri I, Chuine I (2017) Integrating interactive effects of chilling and photoperiod in phenological process-based models. A case study with two European tree species: Fagus sylvatica and Quercus petraea. Agric For Meteorol 244-245:9–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Heide OM (1993) Daylength and thermal time responses of budburst during dormancy release in some northern deciduous trees. Physiol Plant 88:531–540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Korner C, Basler D (2010) Plant science. Phenology under global warming. Science 327:1461–1462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lange M, Schaber J, Marx A, Jäckel G, Badeck F, Seppelt R, Doktor D (2016) Simulation of forest tree species’ bud burst dates for different climate scenarios: chilling requirements and photo-period may limit bud burst advancement. Int J Biometeorol 60:1711–1726Google Scholar
  16. Laube J, Sparks TH, Estrella N, Menzel A (2014) Does humidity trigger tree phenology? Proposal for an air humidity based framework for bud development in spring. New Phytol 202:350–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. X Li, Y Xu, Y Li, Y Liu, M Zhai (2010) The flowering phenology characteristic of five varieties of Carya illinoensis 37Google Scholar
  18. Linkosalo T, Hakkinen R, Hanninen H (2006) Models of the spring phenology of boreal and temperate trees: is there something missing? Tree Physiol 26:1165–1172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Malyshev AV, Henry HAL, Bolte A, Arfin Khan MAS, Kreyling J (2018) Temporal photoperiod sensitivity and forcing requirements for budburst in temperate tree seedlings. Agric For Meteorol 248:82–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Murray MB, Cannell M, Smith RT (1989) Date of budburst of fifteen species of tree in Britain following climatic warming. J Appl Ecol 26:693–700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Peñuelas J, Filella I, Comas P (2002) Changed plant and animal life cycles from 1952 to 2000 in the Mediterranean region. Glob Chang Biol 8:531–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pletsers A, Caffarra A, Kelleher CT, Donnelly A (2015) Chilling temperature and photoperiod influence the timing of bud burst in juvenile Betula pubescens Ehrh. and Populus tremula L. trees. Ann For Sci 72:941–953CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Salazar-Gutierrez MR, Johnson J, Chaves-Cordoba B, Hoogenbooma G (2013) Relationship of base temperature to development of winter wheat. Int J Plant Prod 7:741–762Google Scholar
  24. Sedgley M, Griffin AR (1989) Sexual reproduction of tree crops. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  25. Sogaard G, Johnsen O, Nilsen J, Junttila O (2008) Climatic control of bud burst in young seedlings of nine provenances of Norway spruce. Tree Physiol 28:311–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sparks D (1992) Pecan cultivars-THE ORCHARD’S FOUNDATION. Pecan Production Innovations, WatkinsvilleGoogle Scholar
  27. Walther G (2003) Plants in a warmer world. Perspect Plant Ecol Evol Syst 6:169–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wareing P (1953) Growth studies in woody species V. Photoperiodism in dormant buds of Fagus sylvatica L. Physiol Plant 6:692–706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wetzstein HY (1989) Pollination and development of the receptive stigma in pecan, Carya illinoensis. ISHS Acta Horticult 240:193–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wetzstein H, Rodriguez AM, Burns JA, Magner H (1996) Carya illinoensis (Pecan). 35:50–75Google Scholar
  31. Xi X, Fan Z, Zhou W, Liao Y, Dong R (2006) Introduction of ten Carya illionoensis cultivars. Journal of Zhejiang Forestry College, China 23:382–387Google Scholar
  32. Zohner CM, Renner SS (2015) Perception of photoperiod in individual buds of mature trees regulates leaf-out. New Phytol 208:1023–1030CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ISB 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hua-Lin Ye
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qun-Ying Jin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hua-Zheng Peng
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tang-Jun Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jian-Jun Shen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guo-Shuai Huang
    • 3
  • Min Wang
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Food Science, Zhejiang Forestry AcademyHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of State Forestry Administration on Forest Food Resources Utilization and Quality ControlHangzhouChina
  3. 3.College of Forestry and BiotechnologyZhejiang A&F UniversityHangzhouChina
  4. 4.Jiande Forestry StationHangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations