Data driven assessment of major fruit crops’ shifting phenology under climate change in the Mediterranean with the combined use of field-based internet of things and remote sensing technologies

Fecha de publicación: 01/09/2023
Fuente: ISHS (International Society for Horticultural Science)
Post date: Friday 1 September 2023
ISHS Secretariat

Ioannis Moutsinas is an Agricultural Engineer currently working as a research scientist at the Networks Implementation Testbed Laboratory of the University of Thessaly, Greece. At the same time, he is a PhD student within the Laboratory of Pomology. His research mainly focuses on the assessment of major fruit crops’ phenological responses to climate change in the Mediterranean to determine the most suitable adaptation strategies to improve crop resilience and sustainability. To attain that, a model-based approach is proposed that leverages real-time field data collection using the Internet of Things (IoT) and remote sensing technologies. The AgroNIT smart-farming IoT ecosystem was employed in a recent study to quantify the impact of climate variability and climate change on the evapotranspiration and thermal growing conditions of Prunus persica ‘Everts’ grown in two different regions in northern Greece, over three growing seasons (2019-2022). AgroNIT’s architecture relies on distributed field data collection and analysis, in real-time, by leveraging energy-autonomous, wireless sensor networks, high performance cloud computing, and tailor-made decision-support systems. In northern Greece, the AgroNIT testbed comprises 43 IoT-enabled sensing and communication devices deployed on 23 peach orchards across the region. At its core, AgroNIT embeds crop-specific phenological and irrigation models to quantify the accumulated chilling and growing degree hours and real water needs of the studied orchards. The obtained results demonstrated a clear effect of the occurring temperatures on the timing of tree phenophases and their water needs, for two regions at different altitudes. Orchards at higher altitude exhibited longer phenophases (2-7 days) and consistently lower evapotranspiration rates (2-3 mm day-1), attributed mainly to the lower mean temperatures recorded. While the effect of local climate variability was shown to differ between areas relatively close to each other, no significant variations were found to occur within 2019-2022 that could be attributed to climate change. The proposed data-driven approach shows great potential in identifying mechanisms behind crops’ phenology shifts, enabling the prediction of regional phenological patterns and their consequences on ecosystem productivity.
Ioannis Moutsinas won the ISHS Young Minds Award for the best poster presentation at the International Symposium on Models for Plant Growth, Environments, Farm Management in Orchards, and Protected Cultivation (HorchiModel2023) in Spain in June 2023.
Ioannis Moutsinas, Laboratory of Pomology, School of Agricultural Sciences, University of Thessaly, Volos, 38446, Greece; Networks Implementation Testbed Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Thessaly, 38334 Volos, Greece, e-mail:
The article is available in Chronica HorticulturaeTags: remote sensingCategories: Young Minds Award Winners