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Monday, April 9 • 5:30pm - 7:00pm
POSTER: Landscape Context Influences Microclimates in Agroecosystems

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AUTHORS: Ilona Naujokaitis-Lewis, Environment and Climate Change Canada

ABSTRACT: Our ability to capture the relationships between organisms and climate is essential for understanding and predicting the vulnerability of species to climate change. To capture ecologically relevant climate profiles at landscape and local scales, researchers are increasingly quantifying microclimate through the use of data sensors and drones. However, the discrepancies between field-based measurements and remotely-sensed data remain unclear. Furthermore, the effect of landscape scale amount of forested land-cover on microhabitat remains poorly characterised. Here I assess (1) whether the amount of landscape scale forest cover buffers temperatures in microhabitat (i.e., crop fields) located in agroecosystems, and (2) the consistency among the temperature data captured across a range of methods. I deployed a network of temperature sensors within 15 agroecosystem landscapes across a forest cover gradient. I assessed the consistency of temperature readings between data recorded using 3 alternative methods including data sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and a fine-scale interpolated climate model. Interpolated climate models over-estimated local minimum temperature and under-estimated local maximum temperatures, and this difference was most pronounced in landscapes containing more forest cover. The type of crop field and its associated phenology played a large importance in within-field temperature variability. The results of this study highlight the limitations of fine-scale climate models for characterising thermal heterogeneity, and emphasize the importance of forest cover in buffering temperatures across human-modified agricultural landscapes. Overall, these results suggest that landscape context and local scale habitat type can influence spatial and temporal patterns of microclimates and require consideration when assessing species’ vulnerabilities to climate change.

Monday April 9, 2018 5:30pm - 7:00pm CDT
Monroe Room

Attendees (4)