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I have land in India (the tropics), in the hills, on a slope from 6800 feet - 5200 ft altitude (roughly). At that lowest point there's a stream of about 10-15m across. On one side is our land, on the other side, a steep thickly forested slope upwards. Generally my entire land is a very sunny area, high radiation, though not hot like the tropical plains (it rarely crosses 28C even in summer, usually hangs around 20-25C during the day. In Winter, it drops to a minimum of 7C, and hangs around 13-19C during the day).

This stream portion of my land is as yet unexplored and unused. I have rudimentary equipment to measure the microclimate (min-max thermometer, hygrometer), but I don't want to waste a year measuring things if possible.. so are there likely to be any appreciable microclimactic differences one can expect along a stream so small?

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  • $\begingroup$ Kladhest, there are many factors that control the microclimate of an area. For example the aspect and slope of your lands, the vegetative cover, even the local topographic roughness. In general a creek would provide a moderating influence to the local area, but could also be a region with cold air ponding. More information would be required to make any valid statements about trends in the microclimate. $\endgroup$ – Friddy Mar 19 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Friddy true. what I mean is.. are there known or thought to be big enough microclimactic differences with such places.. that, say for example, a tropical plant that needs humidity but not much heat would grow near the stream whereas it would fail further up the slope? If that question is also vague, how would I go about measuring things to ask a better question/get a better idea with rudimentary equipment? $\endgroup$ – kladhest Mar 19 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ Many years ago I did a study for a forest company looking at the best microsite selection for planting trees. The area was immediately adjacent to a small creek (creek bed about 10m with less than 1 m3/sec flow) had average temperatures typically cooler by 3 degrees, creek was on a NE/SW strike with approximately 5 to 40% slopes on either side of creek. We attributed most of the temperature drop to cold area ponding. Micro site temperatures increased with as little as 40 cm elevation difference between sensors located within 1 meter horizontally from each other. $\endgroup$ – Friddy Mar 22 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Friddy Such an interesting answer. Thank you. If you have the time and are inclined to, could you link me studies (or case studies) of that sort that you might be familiar with? Otherwise, you could guide me on how to find them, as I've looked, both here and on google scholar, but I'm not getting exactly what I'm searching for. $\endgroup$ – kladhest Mar 22 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ I would love to give you the study but it was when I was working for a forest company, over 30 years ago. The study was organized by our Silviculture Forester at the time, and is proprietary. The paper below is similar to what we were doing. researchgate.net/publication/…. $\endgroup$ – Friddy Mar 22 at 23:27

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