Modelling exposure to show environmental stress

The spectacular map shown below indicates the risk of frost pocket formation in Wales. Modelling exposure to show environmental stress for Wales was part of the wider SaFAS (Spatial Analysis for Area Statements) project for Natural Resources Wales, which set a framework for modelling ecosystem services for area statements. The project identified high exposure areas as a factor determining types of natural management interventions that could be implemented at different sites with particular reference to crop suitability.

The map shows areas with low risk of frost pocket formation in yellow and green and areas of medium to high risk in blue

Terrestrial ecology is affected by the location of frost pockets with plants that are susceptible to frost in the spring not growing well in locations that will experience frost later on in the year. This will also affect the type of agricultural crops that can be grown in an area, an effect that is stronger the more frost sensitive the crop in question is.

The map was created using a number of factors that either increase or decrease an area’s likelihood of frost. The factors include wind, solar radiation, proximity to the coast (less temperature fluctuation and associated salt spray), concavities, elevation, soil type and vegetation type.