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Influences on suburban microclimates

Research Achievements

Influences on suburban microclimates

Peters, E.B. et al. (2010). Influence of Seasonality and Vegetation Type on Suburban Microclimates. Urban Ecosystems, Springer

Urbanization is responsible for some of the fastest rates of land-use change around the world. To determine how distinct urban forest communities vary in their microclimate effects over time, we measured stand-level leaf area index, soil temperature, infrared surface temperature, and soil water content over a complete growing season at 29 sites in suburban Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota. We found that seasonal patterns of soil and surface temperatures were controlled more by stand-level leaf area index and tree cover than by plant functional type. The significant cooling effects of urban tree canopies on soil temperature imply that seasonal changes in leaf area index may also modulate CO2 efflux from urban soils, a highly temperature-dependent process, and that this should be considered in calculations of total CO2 efflux for urban carbon budgets.