Online Soil Moisture and Microclimate Investigations on Agroforestry and Agricultural Field Plots
Keywords:agroforestry, microclimate, soil moisture, climate change
Agroforestry is a traditional cultivation method, which can bridge the gap between nature conservation and agriculture systems. Hungary is one of the most vulnerable countries in the term of climate change, and according to climatological forecasts, several areas in the Carpathian basin will be exposed to extensive and prolonged droughts in the next decades. Agroforestry can moderate the negative effects of the projected changes. The regional share of this new concept should be increased, but first science has to demonstrate its clear benefits. So using online measurement technologies microclimate and soil moisture changes can be detected with high temporal and spatial distribution for longer periods in order to obtain information on the smallest deviations of microclimatic elements that could not be detected in conventional ways. In our study a 1 ha completely wind shielded agroforestry plot and a nearby situated natural wind-running field were investigated, using 1-1 automatic weather station as well as 5 + 1 of 90 cm soil probes, which were used to measure the changes of soil moisture among 10cm layers. We examined the climatological response to the forest belt compared to the open, traditional field („control area”) based on the following parameters: 10meter wind speed, 10meter wind direction, 2m temperature, relative humidity, the amount and intensity of rainfall, the amount and duration of dew formation, the volume% of soil moisture.