The Topoclimate South Project: Mapping temperatures, topoclimates and
growing degree-days in Southland, New Zealand.

Soil type and patterns of accumulated heat (growing degree-days) are
important limits to plant growth. Data on heat accumulation is thus
important for best management of both pasture and cropland, and for issues
of diversification, productivity and sustainability. As part of the
community driven Topoclimate South project (www.topoclimate-south.co.nz),
1-year temperature data at about 900 logger sites, and long-term data from
climate stations, are being used to generate long-term daily temperature
records for about 805 000 ha in Southland. The immediate outcome is soil and
degree-day maps at 1:50 000 scale, which are produced using a GIS and
(currently) expert knowledge of the landscape. Potential uses for the data
are many and include analysis undertaken by Otago students.