Because the Jama-Coaque Reserve is located at the transition point of coastal dry forest and moist forest (i.e. Chocó) and within one of the most deforested and fragmented landscapes in South America, climatic and micro-climatic conditions play a critical role in influencing the presence and abundance of species across the landscape. Differences in elevation, forest type, forest cover, and landscape use all affect micro-climatic conditions such as temperature and humidity. These variables also continually change as the landscape changes at the hands of human activity and/ or natural regeneration. For this reason, the monitoring of micro-climatic conditions over time and across forest types and land-use categories is a useful way to study and predict patterns of biodiversity.
In this study we use a combination of iButtons (Hygrochrons and Thermochrons) and Kestrel Drops data loggers across the landscape to record and track changes in temperature and humidity over time. This study was initiated in August 2015 when 78 ibuttons we’re placed across a 600 m elevation gradient and stratified across four different forest types (pasture, agroforestry, edge, and interior forest). iButton loggers record data on the hour every hour throughout the year and are downloaded every 3 months. In 2017 we began adding Kestrel Drop loggers to the array of iButtons to compare their utility in documenting changes in micro-climatic conditions over time.
Determine how forest type and elevation impact micro-climate variables of temperature and humidity at the local level.
Track differences in temperature and humidity between pasture land, edge habitat, agroforestry blocks, and interior forest.
Determine differences in the micro-climate variables of temperature and humidity between the forest floor (leaf litter), 15 cm above ground, and 1.5 m above ground.
Determine how micro-climate variables change over time and across seasons