Computational Canopy Models For Precision Measurement And Adaptive Management Of Grapevine Performance

Other Titles


Effective control of winegrape fruit quality requires the simultaneous consideration of multiple response models including: the relationship between the chemical profile of harvested fruit and the organoleptic qualities of a finished wine; a mechanistic understanding of key flavor and aroma compound biosynthesis; and the role of physical vineyard parameters in these biosynthetic processes. Any attempt to predictably influence the performance of a winegrape cropping system, with respect to flavor and aroma, requires the ability to both measure the relevant physical parameters of that system and to accurately manipulate them to achieve a deliberate and quantitative response. Although the sub-discipline of precision viticulture has established that a quantitative understanding of plot-scale spatial variability can guide cultural inputs toward plot-scale consistency, the existence and small-scale spatial patterns and their effect on precision management have not been extensively studied. The experiments presented here were designed to: 1) improve the precision and increase the spatial resolution of commonly used viticultural research methods with the goal of identifying, characterizing and quantifying small-scale spatial patterns in fruiting-zone of winegrape canopies; 2) explore the impact of small-scale spatial structure on the efficacy of common plot-level cultural inputs; 3) develop methods for optimizing vineyard research and commercial production operations within known parametric spatial patterns at multiple scales; and, 4) explore the potential application of these methods in the control of a specific sunlight-sensitive compound vital to the organoleptic qualities of Riesling wine. The development and application of new computational methods for managing both the data volume of high-resolution models and the combinatorial complexities of multi-objective vineyard optimization, resulted in: new quantitative metrics for describing fruit-zone sunlight regimes; the discovery and quantification of small-scale culturally-induced microclimatic spatial patterns; the discovery that small-scale spatial patterns can negatively impact the efficacy of plotscale cultural inputs; and an enhanced understanding of the relationship between canopy microclimatic variability and concentrations of C13-norisoprenoids in Riesling grapes. To date, the software tools developed within the scope of dissertation have been adopted by researchers and winegrape growers in a dozen countries and 14 U.S. states for use in the study and optimization of crop performance and fruit metabolite profiles.

Journal / Series

Volume & Issue



Date Issued




light interception; canopy management; sampling strategies; heurustics; Riesling; norisprenoids


Effective Date

Expiration Date




Union Local


Number of Workers

Committee Chair

Vanden Heuvel, Justine E.

Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Wilcox, Wayne Frank
Sacks, Gavin Lavi
Van Es, Harold Mathijs

Degree Discipline

Horticultural Biology

Degree Name

Ph. D., Horticultural Biology

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

Related Version

Related DOI

Related To

Related Part

Based on Related Item

Has Other Format(s)

Part of Related Item

Related To

Related Publication(s)

Link(s) to Related Publication(s)


Link(s) to Reference(s)

Previously Published As

Government Document




Other Identifiers


Rights URI


dissertation or thesis

Accessibility Feature

Accessibility Hazard

Accessibility Summary

Link(s) to Catalog Record