Despite the importance of forest edges in ecology, only one study has previously been carried out in New Zealand on the modification of climate across forest edges. We measured light exposure, wind speed, air and soil temperature, and vapour pressure deficit (VPD) perpendicular to a north-south aligned, mature, edge of native broadleaf rainforest adjoining grazed pasture. At a point 80 m into the forest from the edge, light was only c. 0.7% and wind speed c. 20% of that in the open, and there was much less diurnal fluctuation in soil temperature, air temperature and VPD.
Soil temperature, soil moisture and soil fertility were determined empirically at 63 predominantly hill sites in the South Island, New Zealand. Soil temperatures were measured at a depth of 0.5 m in four seasons and gave a standard deviation of mean annual temperature between sites of 2.2-degrees-C. Soil moisture levels, as available water in a 0-0.5 m profile, measured seasonally, gave a standard deviation between sites of 49 mm water.