Browsing by Subject "MICROCLIMATE"

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  • Riutta, Terhi; Clack, Henry; Crockatt, Martha; Slade, Eleanor M. (2016)
    Although studies on edge effects on species richness and abundance are numerous, the responses of ecosystem processes to these effects have received considerably less attention. How ecosystem processes respond to edge effects is particularly important in temperate forests, where small fragments and edge habitats form a considerable proportion of the total forest area. Soil fauna are key contributors to decomposition and soil biogeochemical cycling processes. Using the bait lamina technique, we quantified soil fauna feeding activity, and its dependence on soil moisture and distance to the edge in a broad-leaved forest in Southern England. Feeding activity was 40% lower at the forest edge than in the interior, and the depth of edge influence was approximately 75 m. A watering treatment showed that moisture limitation was the main driver of the reduced feeding activity at the edge. In England, only 33% of the forest area is greater than 75 m from the edge. Therefore, assuming that the results from this single-site study are representative for the landscape, it implies that only one- third of the forest area in England supports activity levels typical for the forest core, and that edge effects reduce the mean feeding activity across the landscape by 17% (with lower and upper 90% confidence intervals of 1.3 and 23%, respectively). Changing climatic conditions, such as summer droughts may exacerbate such effects as edges lose water faster than the forest interior. The results highlight the importance of taking edge effects into account in ecological studies and forest management planning in highly fragmented landscapes.
  • Kotilainen, Titta; Robson, T. Matthew; Hernandez, Ricardo (2018)
    Climate screens are typically used inside glass greenhouses to improve control of humidity and temperature, and thus reduce energy expenditure. Shade nets are more appropriate to use, either with or without polyethylene cladding, at locations less-reliant on climate control, but where protection against hail, wind and excessive solar radiation might be needed. In addition, insect screens and nets can be employed to hinder insect pests and other invertebrates entering either type of production environment, and to keep invertebrates used in pest management contained inside. Screens and nets both transmit sunlight in a wavelength-specific manner, giving them the potential to affect plant morphology and physiology. Screens and nets of various colours and nominal shading factors have been described and studied; however, detailed measurements of their spectral characteristics are scarce. We measured solar spectral photon-irradiance and its attenuation by climate screens, shade nets, insect nets, greenhouse glass, and polyethylene covers. Our aim was to elucidate the effects of different patterns, colours, and shading factors, on light quality in production environments. Our measurements reveal that there are large differences both in the fraction of global irradiance attenuated and spectral ratios received under materials that are otherwise superficially similar in terms of their appearance and texture. We suggest that the type of spectral characterization that we performed is required to fully interpret the results of research examining plant responses to different types of screen and net. These data on spectral irradiance would benefit material manufacturers, researchers, growers, and horticultural consultants, enabling material selection to better match the solutions sought by growers and their desired outcomes regarding plant performance.
  • Junior, Celso; Aragão, Luiz; Anderson, Liana; Fonseca, Marisa; Shimabukuro, Yosio E.; Vancutsem, Christelle; Achard, Fredéric; Beuchle, René; Numata, Izaya; Silva, Carlos; Maeda, Eduardo; Longo, Marcos; Saatchi, Sassan S. (2020)
    Deforestation is the primary driver of carbon losses in tropical forests, but it does not operate alone. Forest fragmentation, a resulting feature of the deforestation process, promotes indirect carbon losses induced by edge effect. This process is not implicitly considered by policies for reducing carbon emissions in the tropics. Here, we used a remote sensing approach to estimate carbon losses driven by edge effect in Amazonia over the 2001 to 2015 period. We found that carbon losses associated with edge effect (947 Tg C) corresponded to one-third of losses from deforestation (2592 Tg C). Despite a notable negative trend of 7 Tg C year(-1) in carbon losses from deforestation, the carbon losses from edge effect remained unchanged, with an average of 63 +/- 8 Tg C year(-1). Carbon losses caused by edge effect is thus an additional unquantified flux that can counteract carbon emissions avoided by reducing deforestation, compromising the Paris Agreement's bold targets.
  • Maeda, Eduardo; Nunes, Matheus; Calders, Kim; Mendes de Moura, Yhasmin; Raumonen, Pasi; Tuomisto, Hanna; Verley, Philippe; Vincent, Gregoire; Zuquin, Gabriela; Camargo, José Luis (2022)
    Forest edges are an increasingly common feature of Amazonian landscapes due to human-induced forest frag-mentation. Substantial evidence shows that edge effects cause profound changes in forest biodiversity and productivity. However, the broader impacts of edge effects on ecosystem functioning remain unclear. Assessing the three-dimensional arrangement of forest elements has the potential to unveil structural traits that are scalable and closely linked to important functional characteristics of the forest. Using over 600 high-resolution terrestrial laser scanning measurements, we present a detailed assessment of forest structural metrics linked to ecosystem processes such as energy harvesting and light use efficiency. Our results show a persistent change in forest structural characteristics along the edges of forest fragments, which resulted in a significantly lower structural diversity, in comparison with the interior of the forest fragments. These structural changes could be observed up to 35 m from the forest edges and are likely to reflect even deeper impacts on other ecosystem variables such as microclimate and biodiversity. Traits related to vertical plant material allocation were more affected than traits related to canopy height. We demonstrate a divergent response from the forest understory (higher vegetation density close to the edge) and the upper canopy (lower vegetation density close to the edge), indicating that assessing forest disturbances using vertically integrated metrics, such as total plant area index, can lead to an erroneous interpretation of no change. Our results demonstrate the strong potential of terrestrial laser scanning for benchmarking broader-scale (e.g. airborne and space-borne) remote sensing assessments of forest distur-bances, as well as to provide a more robust interpretation of biophysical changes detected at coarser resolutions.