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Environmental manipulation studies are integral to determine impacts of climate warming. Chambers are predominantly used to assess summer warming on terrestrial biota, while changes during other seasons are given less attention even though chambers are left in the field year-round. In addition, extreme events such as maximum or minimum temperatures and freeze-thaw events are often ignored. In this review we discuss the effects Open Top Chambers (OTCs) on temperature and how seasonal warming and extreme events vary between locations. Implications of these effects are discussed and suggestions to improve the use of passive warming chambers are made.
It is our aim to combine the research effort that has been put into climate change studies using OTCs. Concerns were raised for using OTCs by Kennedy (1995) and Marion et al. (1997) for using passive warming chambers. This will be systematically addressed. Different climate simulation methods have been reviewed in their effectiveness.
Centre for Estuarine and Coastal Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-CEME)