Spatial and temporal variability of leaf wetness duration in the State of São Paulo, Brazil

Variabilidade espacial e temporal da duração do período de molhamento foliar no Estado de São Paulo, Brasil

One of the main factors influencing the occurrence of plant diseases is the leaf wetness duration (LWD). However, this climatic parameter is not generally and systematically recorded at meteorological stations, and the alternative to obtain an estimate for LWD is the use of mathematical models. The objective of this study was to estimate LWD for the State of São Paulo, on the basis of the number of hours with relative humidity equal to or higher than 90%, and also plot them on a map with help of the Geographical Information System (GIS) tool. Using daily relative humidity data from ten meteorological stations of the State, for six years, adjustment equations were obtained for different LWD periods (hours day-1) (R² from 0.58 to 0.81) and of number of days (ND) per month with LWD for a period equal to or higher than ten consecutive hours (R² from 0.57 to 0.75), both as functions of the mean relative humidity. The mean LWD and the mean ND varied among the different regions of the State and different periods of the year. The smallest estimated values of mean annual LWD and ND were observed for the west region of the State, and the highest values for the coastal region.

plant diseases; relative humidity; Geographical Information System; regression equation

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