5. Microclimate management by traditional farmers.
Geogr. Rev. 62, 1972, pp. 544-566
This bibliography covers the only international project existing on "Traditional Techniques of Microclimate Improvement". The paper relies on field reports in its identification of farmers' reasons for using particular management practices and wants to produce sufficient evidence to justify the nomination of (micro)climate to that group of environmental factors over which traditional farmers exercise significant control. Two aspects of field microclimate are distinguished: preservation of desirable characteristics and generation of these characteristics within the crop zone. Examples of shade management, the manipulation of albedos, surface geometry and longwave transfers are separately dealt with. In a section on heat and moisture, tillage systems, surface mulches and dew are dealt with. Sections on wind, rain and hail and on maintaining microclimates close this valuable paper. In footnotes the widely scattered existing literature on basic concepts and examples is very adequately covered. The paper nevertheless concludes that its coverage is less than comprehensive, and for good reason. Crop climate management is so widespread and assumes so many forms that a complete catalogue of practices would fill volumes. Nor can extensive quantitative evaluation be attempted, since neither field nor laboratory research has produced much data on the results achieved by traditional methods. The paper concludes that traditional farmers employ an impressive array of climate-ameliorating techniques. But information on these practices comes mostly from scattered field observations, with few indications of the results achieved. Measurement of radiation, heat, and moisture fluxes under a variety of crop and field conditions are sorely needed to determine the effectiveness and extent of these climate-control measures. Questions as growing seasons and production are affected by these practices need to be dealt with.
1156 92 - 6/35
Review, book, plants, agriculture, environmental stress, ecology, drought, salinity, temperature, heat, frost
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