Microclimate measurements

Microclimate assisted migration trials

Lead Researcher: Cliff Raphael, MSc

Microclimate data are needed in order to interpret and extrapolate the results of planting trials, and to verify the relationship between oak fern abundance and available water storage capacity (AWSC). Oak fern microclimate installations are scheduled for the summer of 2013.

Year One Activities (2011-2012)

Weather station and microclimate monitoring installations were installed to provide data for the Assisted Tree Migration project on growing season microclimate variables potentially affecting the survival and performance results of planted tree species.

  • Weather station instrumentation installed at the Bear Lake (Figure 1), Coalmine, and Red Rock plantation sites included: air temperature/relative humidity sensors, solar radiation sensors, rain gauges, and wind monitors for wind speed and direction.

Figure 1. Bear Lake weather station between the north and south aspect seedling trials.

  • Set up climate equipment at seedling trials (watch the weather station installation on Youtube).
  • Microclimate data logger instrumentation (Figure 2), installed in the center of each of the five seedling trials, included soil moisture sensors, temperature sensors, and air temperature sensors at seedling height.

Figure 2. Bear Lake microclimate station on north aspect seedling trial.

  • Data collected included growing season and microclimate variables potentially affecting the survival and growth of seedling (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Soil temperatures at a depth of 20cm for Bear Lake (SBSwk1), July 13 – October 19, 2012.

Figure 4. Comparison of Total Monthly Precipitation for Weather Stations at Red Rock, Bear Lake and the Woodlot, from June to October 2012.

Year Two Activities (2012-2013)

  • Continued climate data collection from the three weather stations and five HOBO microclimate stations.
  • An additional soil moisture probe was added to all microclimate stations. Soil moisture data are collected at depths of 20 cm and 10 cm.
  • Microclimate station design upgrade to provide security to equipment from bears (Figure 5).

Figure 5. Bear Lake microclimate station design upgrade on north aspect seedling trial.

  • Data compilation (daily and monthly values) and preliminary statistical analyses have begun (Figures 6 and 7).

Figure 6. . Comparison of Soil Temperature (°C) at 10cm on North and South Aspects of the Woodlot from August 16 to October 16, 2013.

Figure 7. Comparison of Soil Moisture (m³/m³) at 10cm from North and South Aspects at the Woodlot from August 16 to October 16, 2013.

Oak Fern Monitoring

Microclimate monitoring installations were installed to provide soil moisture data to verify the relationship between oak fern abundance and available water storage capacity (AWSC).

  • Installation of eight microclimate stations within the oak fern transect (Figure 8).

Figure 8. Oak fern transect #6 microclimate station installation.

  • Moisture sensors (EC5) were installed in the rooting zone in the middle, at the upper edge, and 5m upslope of the oak fern community at all eight transect locations.
  • Data compilation [daily values] and preliminary statistical analyses have begun.

Results and Analysis

Results forthcoming.

Information Dissemination

  • Northern Silviculture Committee (NSC) Winter Workshop presentation, “Climate change studies on the CNC Research Forest (PDF),” University of Northern British Columbia, February 2013.
  • NSERC Project Site tours: Research Forest Society Board, September 2012; Dunkley Lumber Ltd., October 2012.

Construction of a weather station: taking microclimate measurements for the assisted migration projects