soil

Sub-canopy microclimate temperatures of European forests

Sub-canopy microclimate temperatures of European forests

Mind the difference between air temperature measured in 2m height and at the ground:

Ecological research heavily relies on coarse-gridded climate data based on standard- ized temperature measurements recorded at 2 m height in open landscapes. However, many organisms experience environmental conditions that differ substantially from those captured by these macroclimatic (i.e. free air) temperature grids. […]. We found that sub-canopy air tem- peratures differ substantially from free-air temperatures, being on average 2.1°C (standard deviation ± 1.6°C) lower in summer and 2.0°C higher (±0.7°C) in winter across Europe.

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Differences in temperature on open and vegetated soils (II)

Differences in temperature on open and vegetated soils (II)

Been out again yesterday, and made a few new measurements. Astonishing the high temperatures on the open ground with >50°C – as hot as the asphalt. And also fascinating the comparison between “on the mulch” and “under the mulch” for vegetables: 24°C difference.

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Differences in temperature on open and vegetated soils

Differences in temperature on open and vegetated soils

Yesterday, at gentle 24 ° C air temperature, I measured the soil surface temperatures (for the first time). On the areas with open soil in the corn field of our neighbour: over 50°C. In the clover grass on our side: 26°C.

It’s amazing how the soil heats up (and was another 6°C warmer than the (rough) road next to it). Problematic not only for the soil life, soil water and for many crops. Also not good for the climate, because of warming of air temperature in this area, increased heat radiation, on larger areas potential development of high pressure areas, possible reduction of precipitation, … For more see my UNEP article and presentation, and the Climate Landscapes conference.

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Forest restoration must navigate trade-offs between environmental and wood production goals

Forest restoration must navigate trade-offs between environmental and wood production goals

New research shows forest restoration schemes should prioritise restoring native forests for greatest climate and environmental benefits. However these benefits have a trade-off with wood production in comparison with tree plantations.

The faster growth of trees in plantations managed for timber or pulp production implies greater uptake of water from the soil, which leaves less water for replenishing the groundwater reserves that sustain streams, especially in drier areas. To make matters worse, trees in such plantations are typically harvested more frequently than those in native forests, leading to greater soil disturbance and poorer streamflow regulation.”

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