Understanding variations in sap flow rates and the environmental factors that influence sap flow is important for exploring grape water consumption patterns and developing reasonable greenhouse irrigation schedules. Three irrigation levels were established in this study: adequate irrigation (W1), moderate deficit irrigation (W2) and deficit irrigation (W3). Grape sap flow estimation models were constructed using partial least squares (PLS) and random forest (RF) algorithms, and the simulation accuracy and stability of these models were evaluated. The results showed that the daily mean sap flow rates in the W2 and W3 treatments were 14.65 and 46.94% lower, respectively, than those in the W1 treatment, indicating that the average daily sap flow rate increased gradually with an increase in the irrigation amount within a certain range. Based on model error and uncertainty analyses, the RF model had better simulation results in the different grape growth stages than the PLS model did. The coefficient of determination and Willmott’s index of agreement for RF model exceeded 0.78 and 0.90, respectively, and this model had smaller root mean square error and d-factor (evaluation index of model uncertainty) values than the PLS model did, indicating that the RF model had higher prediction accuracy and was more stable. The relative importance of the model predictors was determined. Moreover, the RF model more comprehensively reflected the influence of meteorological factors and the moisture content in different soil layers on the sap flow rate than the PLS model did. In summary, the RF model accurately simulated sap flow rates, which is important for greenhouse grape irrigation.
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