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Premise of the Study

Fine‐scale variation in temperature and soil moisture contribute to microhabitats across the landscape, affecting plant phenology, distribution, and fitness. The recent availability of compact and inexpensive temperature and humidity data loggers such as iButtons has facilitated research on microclimates.

Methods and Results

Here, we highlight the use of iButtons in three distinct settings: comparisons of empirical data to modeled climate data for rare rock ferns in the genus Asplenium in eastern North America; generation of fine‐scale data to predict flowering time and vernalization responsiveness of crop wild relatives of chickpea from southeastern Anatolia; and measurements of extreme thermal variation of solar array installations in Vermont.


We highlight a range of challenges with iButtons, including serious limitations of the Hygrochron function that affect their utility for measuring soil moisture, and methods for protecting them from the elements and from human interference. Finally, we provide MATLAB code to facilitate the processing of raw iButton data.


Originally published in Applications in Plant Sciences.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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