Microclimate ecology and biogeography

It’s one thing to have a great database. It’s a second one to put it to good use.

The data is there, our SoilTemp-database for example has accumulated over 7500 loggers from all over the world now, and contributions are still pouring in. But before we dive headlong into more analyses with all this information we have, we took some time again to reflect about the scientific questions.

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The idyllic scenery for our microclimate meeting in Ekenäs, Sweden

We thus gathered some like-minded microclimate enthusiasts from all over the world in an old mansion in the countryside, 2 hours out of Stockholm, to answer some very important question: what are the most important research directions in the field of microclimate that need answering, and do we have the data for this?

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Ranking scientific questions based on importance – an important excercise before diving into the analysis.

We discovered that microclimatic research truly is at a crossroad now. Thanks to global databases reporting what happens in soils and forests, we have the tools to one by one tackle the big mysteries of climate at the smallest scale: how does the microclimate differ from the reported macroclimate across all of the world’s biomes, and how does that impact biodiversity and ecosystem functioning?

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A hike through the semi-natural grasslands of the region showed us the importance of microclimate in a variety of settings, and its interaction with biodiversity – no snow yet on the second day!

So now it’s on to the way foreward! This will be a joint effort from scientists all over the world, so we’re pretty lucky that it is such a fun, enthusiastic and dedicated group of researchers!

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The micro-world of lichens, ruled by processes at the centimeter-scale

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Thinking about the future, surrounded by the past

 

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