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Unit 2: Site Assessment and Non-Timber Forest Crop Selection
Site Assessment Part I (Climate)
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Assessing Climate

In section 3 you will learn about macroclimate and microclimate. Macroclimate refers to large scale regional weather conditions and long term trends in cloud cover, humidity and precipitation, and temperature. Microclimate is a function of short term, local fluctuations in light, temperature, and moisture at a particular site. These factors are affected by distinctive site conditions such as wind barriers and shade created by trees and other obstacles, the aspect (direction) and slope of a hillside, frost pockets, streams banks, etc. Both macroclimate and microclimate contribute to growing conditions, so knowledge of these factors should inform your selection of crops.

You have completed your base map and are ready to begin assessing climatic variables at your site. Workbook pages [8-12] designate specific data for your macroclimate and microclimate that we suggest you record and consider in planning. Weblinks to sources of historic macroclimatic data are provided in the resource boxes in sections [3.1-3.2]. Methods for estimating microclimatic differences between the zones in your site are described in section [3.3].

Use a copy of your base map to display the location of as much of the macroclimate and especially microclimate information from the workbook as is practical. Keep in mind, however, that not everything will fit on the map. For the section on microclimate [3.3] you will be referring to the zones that you designated based on topography or other visible features of your site [Section 2.1].

Workbook and Map Resources