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Microclimatic edge-to-interior gradients of European deciduous forests

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Abstract
Global forest cover is heavily fragmented. Due to high edge-to-surface ratios in small forest patches, a large proportion of forests is affected by edge influences involving steep microclimatic gradients. Although forest edges are important ecotones and account for 20% of the global forested area, it remains unclear how biotic and abiotic drivers affect forest edge microclimates at the continental scale. Here we report soil and air temperatures measured in 225 deciduous forest plots across Europe for two years. Forest stands were situated along a latitudinal gradient and subject to a varying vegetation structure as quantified by terrestrial laser scanning. In summer, the average offset of air and soil temperatures in forest edges compared to temperatures outside the forest amounted to -2.8 degrees C and -2.3 degrees C, respectively. Edge-to-interior summer temperature gradients were affected by the macroclimate and edge structure. From the edge onwards, larger offsets were observed in dense forest edges and in warmer, southern regions. In open forests and northern Europe, altered microclimatic conditions extended deeper into the forest and gradients were steeper. Canopy closure and plant area index were important drivers of summer offsets in edges, whereas in winter also the forest-floor biomass played a key role. Using high-resolution maps, we estimated that approximately 10% of the European broadleaved forests would be affected by altered temperature regimes. Gradual transition zones between forest and adjacent lands are valuable habitat types for edge species. However, if cool and moist forest interiors are desired, then (i) dense and complex forest edges, (ii) an undisturbed forested buffer zone of at least 12.5 m deep and (iii) trees with a high shade casting ability could all contribute to an increased offset. These findings provide important guidelines to mitigate edge influences, to protect typical forest microclimates and to adapt forest management to climate change.
Keywords
Atmospheric Science, Agronomy and Crop Science, Global and Planetary Change, Forestry, cavelab, Climate change, Edge influence, Forest structure, Fragmentation, Temperate forests, Temperature buffering, LEAF-AREA INDEX, LITTER PRODUCTION, SOIL-TEMPERATURE, PLANT-RESPONSES, CLIMATE, RANGE, MODEL, HETEROGENEITY, BIODIVERSITY, VARIABILITY

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MLA
Meeussen, Camille, et al. “Microclimatic Edge-to-Interior Gradients of European Deciduous Forests.” AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST METEOROLOGY, vol. 311, 2021, doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108699.
APA
Meeussen, C., Govaert, S., Vanneste, T., Bollmann, K., Brunet, J., Calders, K., … De Frenne, P. (2021). Microclimatic edge-to-interior gradients of European deciduous forests. AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST METEOROLOGY, 311. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108699
Chicago author-date
Meeussen, Camille, Sanne Govaert, Thomas Vanneste, Kurt Bollmann, Jörg Brunet, Kim Calders, Sara A.O. Cousins, et al. 2021. “Microclimatic Edge-to-Interior Gradients of European Deciduous Forests.” AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST METEOROLOGY 311. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108699.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Meeussen, Camille, Sanne Govaert, Thomas Vanneste, Kurt Bollmann, Jörg Brunet, Kim Calders, Sara A.O. Cousins, Karen De Pauw, Martin Diekmann, Cristina Gasperini, Per-Ola Hedwall, Kristoffer Hylander, Giovanni Iacopetti, Jonathan Lenoir, Sigrid Lindmo, Anna Orczewska, Quentin Ponette, Jan Plue, Pieter Sanczuk, Federico Selvi, Fabien Spicher, Hans Verbeeck, Florian Zellweger, Kris Verheyen, Pieter Vangansbeke, and Pieter De Frenne. 2021. “Microclimatic Edge-to-Interior Gradients of European Deciduous Forests.” AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST METEOROLOGY 311. doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108699.
Vancouver
1.
Meeussen C, Govaert S, Vanneste T, Bollmann K, Brunet J, Calders K, et al. Microclimatic edge-to-interior gradients of European deciduous forests. AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST METEOROLOGY. 2021;311.
IEEE
[1]
C. Meeussen et al., “Microclimatic edge-to-interior gradients of European deciduous forests,” AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST METEOROLOGY, vol. 311, 2021.
@article{8725983,
  abstract     = {{Global forest cover is heavily fragmented. Due to high edge-to-surface ratios in small forest patches, a large proportion of forests is affected by edge influences involving steep microclimatic gradients. Although forest edges are important ecotones and account for 20% of the global forested area, it remains unclear how biotic and abiotic drivers affect forest edge microclimates at the continental scale. Here we report soil and air temperatures measured in 225 deciduous forest plots across Europe for two years. Forest stands were situated along a latitudinal gradient and subject to a varying vegetation structure as quantified by terrestrial laser scanning. In summer, the average offset of air and soil temperatures in forest edges compared to temperatures outside the forest amounted to -2.8 degrees C and -2.3 degrees C, respectively. Edge-to-interior summer temperature gradients were affected by the macroclimate and edge structure. From the edge onwards, larger offsets were observed in dense forest edges and in warmer, southern regions. In open forests and northern Europe, altered microclimatic conditions extended deeper into the forest and gradients were steeper. Canopy closure and plant area index were important drivers of summer offsets in edges, whereas in winter also the forest-floor biomass played a key role. Using high-resolution maps, we estimated that approximately 10% of the European broadleaved forests would be affected by altered temperature regimes. Gradual transition zones between forest and adjacent lands are valuable habitat types for edge species. However, if cool and moist forest interiors are desired, then (i) dense and complex forest edges, (ii) an undisturbed forested buffer zone of at least 12.5 m deep and (iii) trees with a high shade casting ability could all contribute to an increased offset. These findings provide important guidelines to mitigate edge influences, to protect typical forest microclimates and to adapt forest management to climate change.}},
  articleno    = {{108699}},
  author       = {{Meeussen, Camille and Govaert, Sanne and Vanneste, Thomas and Bollmann, Kurt and Brunet, Jörg and Calders, Kim and Cousins, Sara A.O. and De Pauw, Karen and Diekmann, Martin and Gasperini, Cristina and Hedwall, Per-Ola and Hylander, Kristoffer and Iacopetti, Giovanni and Lenoir, Jonathan and Lindmo, Sigrid and Orczewska, Anna and Ponette, Quentin and Plue, Jan and Sanczuk, Pieter and Selvi, Federico and Spicher, Fabien and Verbeeck, Hans and Zellweger, Florian and Verheyen, Kris and Vangansbeke, Pieter and De Frenne, Pieter}},
  issn         = {{0168-1923}},
  journal      = {{AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST METEOROLOGY}},
  keywords     = {{Atmospheric Science,Agronomy and Crop Science,Global and Planetary Change,Forestry,cavelab,Climate change,Edge influence,Forest structure,Fragmentation,Temperate forests,Temperature buffering,LEAF-AREA INDEX,LITTER PRODUCTION,SOIL-TEMPERATURE,PLANT-RESPONSES,CLIMATE,RANGE,MODEL,HETEROGENEITY,BIODIVERSITY,VARIABILITY}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{12}},
  title        = {{Microclimatic edge-to-interior gradients of European deciduous forests}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108699}},
  volume       = {{311}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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