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Published May 26, 2023 | Version v1
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Microclimate, an inseparable part of ecology and biogeography


  • 1. Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu
  • 2. Research Group Plants and Ecoystems (PLECO), University of Antwerp
  • 3. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven
  • 4. University of Barcelona / CREAF / IRBIO
  • 5. Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • 6. 1. Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; 2. Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultual Sciences
  • 7. UMR CNRS 7058 "Ecologie et dynamique des systèmes anthropisés" (EDYSAN)
  • 8. University of Vienna
  • 9. University of Exeter
  • 10. Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Botany
  • 11. GLORIA Coordination team, OeAW, IGF and BOKU, DIBB
  • 12. Durham University
  • 13. 1.Durham University;2. Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 14. Climate Research Department, Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • 15. Department of Biological Sciences and Bjerknes Centre of Climate Research, University of Bergen
  • 16. Center for Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World (BIOCHANGE) & Section for Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity, Department of Biology, Aarhus University
  • 17. Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • 18. Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden
  • 19. University of Lausanne
  • 20. Laboratoire Évolution et Diversité Biologique, UMR 5174, Université de Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, CNRS, IRD.
  • 21. "1: German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Reseach (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig 2: Leipzig Institute for Meteorology, Universität Leipzig 3: CEFE, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, EPHE, IRD"
  • 22. Université de Lorraine, AgroParisTech, INRAE, UMR Silva
  • 23. Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences
  • 24. Department of Biology, University of Washington
  • 25. Universidad Católica de Temuco
  • 26. Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University
  • 27. Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne
  • 28. Forest & Nature Lab, Ghent University
  • 29. ForNaLab, University of Ghent
  • 30. Department of life health and environmental science, University of L'Aquila
  • 31. CREAF
  • 32. Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • 33. Yale University, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • 34. University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)
  • 35. Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of Gothenburg
  • 36. University of Edinburgh
  • 37. Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC)
  • 38. Stockholm University, Dept. of Physical Geography
  • 39. UMR CNRS 7058 "Ecologie et Dynamique des Systèmes Anthropisés" (EDYSAN)
  • 40. INRAE, Univ. Bordeaux, BIOGECO
  • 41. Laboratoire Évolution et Diversité Biologique, UMR5174, Université de Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, CNRS, IRD, Toulouse, France.
  • 43. Department of Geography and Land Management, University of Zaragoza (Spain)
  • 44. Stockholm University
  • 45. University of Oviedo
  • 46. University of Bristol
  • 47. School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Florida
  • 48. Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences & University of Life Sciences Prague
  • 49. 1. Centre for Ecological Research, Institute of Ecology and Botany; 2. Eötvös Loránd University, Department Of Plant Systematics, Ecology and Theoretical Biology
  • 50. 1. University of Helsinki; 2. Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • 51. Technical University in Zvolen
  • 52. Chair of Soil Science, Geography Institute, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
  • 53. Aix-Marseille University
  • 54. Environment and Climate Change Canada, Carleton University
  • 55. Plants and Ecosystems, Dept. of Biology, University of Antwerp
  • 56. Aarhus University
  • 57. University of Houston
  • 58. Faculty of Biology, Biotechnology and Environmental Protection, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
  • 59. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • 60. Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte, UMR 7261, CNRS - Université de Tours
  • 61. Department of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Geobiocoenology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 62. Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, University of Birmingham
  • 63. University of Rennes
  • 64. University of Helsinki
  • 65. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • 66. University of Firenze, Italy
  • 67. Université de Lorraine, AgroParisTech, Silva, Nancy, 5400 France
  • 68. UMR CNRS 7058, Écologie et Dynamique des Systèmes Anthropisés (EDYSAN)
  • 69. Center for Ecological Dynamics in a Novel Biosphere (ECONOVO) & Center for Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World (BIOCHANGE), Department of Biology, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 114, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
  • 70. University of Strasbourg, IPHC CNRS UMR 7178
  • 71. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
  • 72. University of Antwerp
  • 73. University of Tübingen
  • 74. 1. Forest & Nature Lab, Department of Environment, Ghent University 2. Earth and Life Institute, Environmental Sciences, Université catholique de Louvain.
  • 75. Division of Forest, Nature and Landscape, KU Leuven
  • 76. Department of Invasion Ecology, Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences
  • 77. "1. CREAF 2. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona"
  • 78. Department of Zoology, Stockholm University
  • 79. School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong
  • 80. Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London
  • 81. Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland
  • 82. KU Leuven
  • 83. The Open University



Microclimate science has developed into a global discipline. Microclimate science is increasingly used to understand and mitigate climate and biodiversity shifts. Here, we provide an overview of the current status of microclimate ecology and biogeography, and where this field is heading next.

We showcase the recent advances in data acquisition, such as novel field sensors and remote sensing methods. We discuss microclimate modelling, mapping, and data processing, including accessibility of modelling tools, advantages of mechanistic and statistical modelling, and solutions for computational challenges that have pushed the state-of-the-art of the field.

We highlight the latest research on interactions between microclimate and organisms, including how microclimate influences individuals, and through them populations, communities, and entire ecosystems and their processes. We also briefly discuss recent research on how organisms shape microclimate from the tropics to the poles.

Microclimates are also important in ecosystem management under climate change. We showcase new research in microclimate management with examples from biodiversity conservation, forestry, and urban ecology. We discuss the importance of microrefugia in conservation and how to promote microclimate heterogeneity.

We identify major knowledge gaps that need to be filled for further advancing microclimate methods, investigations, and applications. These gaps include spatiotemporal scaling of microclimate data, mismatches between macroclimate and microclimate in predicting responses of organisms to climate change, and the need for more evidence on the outcomes of microclimate management.



The authors are participants of the Microclimate Ecology and Biogeography conference held in Antwerp, Belgium in 2022. Together they collaboratively wrote this perspective paper that brings together 97 experts and their views on the recent advancements and knowledge gaps in terrestrial microclimate. The paper was coordinated by Julia Kemppinen, Jonas Lembrechts, Koenraad Van Meerbeek, and Pieter De Frenne, and writing different sections was led by Jofre Carnicer, Nathalie Chardon, Paul Kardol, Jonathan Lenoir, Daijun Liu, Ilya Maclean, Jan Pergl, Patrick Saccone, Rebecca Senior, Ting Shen, Sandra Słowińska, Vigdis Vandvik, and Jonathan von Oppen. For more details on authors statistics and how the work was organised, please see Supplementary information Figures S1-3.


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