USDA Forest Service

North Central Research Station


North Central Research Station
1992 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

(651) 649-5000

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Publication Details

Note: In October 2006, the North Central Research Station and the Northeastern Research Station joined to form the Northern Research Station. New publications are being added to the Northern Research Station Publications & Data site.

This publication is also available at:

Title: Microclimate in Forest Ecosystem and Landscape Ecology

Author: Chen, Jiquan; Saunders, Sari C.; Crow, Thomas R.; Naiman, Robert J.; Brosofske, Kimberley D.; Mroz, Glenn D.; Brookshire, Brain L.; Franklin, Jerry F.

Year: 1999

Publication: Bioscience. Vol. 49 no. 4.:p. 288-297. (1999)

Abstract: Microclimate is the suite of climatic conditions measured in localized areas near the earth's surface (Geiger 1965). These environmental variables, which include temperature, light, windspeed, and moisture, have been critical throughout human history, providing meaningful indicators for habitat selection and other activities. For example, for 2600 years the Chinese have used localized seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation to schedule their agricultural activities. In seminal studies, Shirley (1929, 1945) emphasized microclimate as a determinant of ecological patterns in both plant and animal communities and a driver of such processes as the growth and mortality of organisms. The importance of microclimate in influencing ecological processes such as plant regeneration and growth, soil resperation and growth, soil repiration, nutrient cycling, and wildlife habitat selection has became an essential component of current ecological research (Perry 1994). plant regeneration and growth, soil respiration, nutrient cycling, and

Key Words: Microclimate, forest ecosystem, landscape ecology, wildlife, habitat, environmental variables

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USDA Forest Service - North Central Research Station
Last Modified: March 31, 2006

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