Ecosystems are often defined by visually perceived boundaries, while for many properties sharp boundaries are difficult to draw. Boundaries between terrestrial ecosystems have often been described with much emphasis on edge effects, which is the impact of the presence of one ecosystem on an adjacent ecosystem. At the boundary of forested and agricultural ecosystems, measurements of environmental variables exist almost only for the forested area, describing the extent of a transition zone and the rates of exchange of matter, energy and information from the zero line (edge) into the forest. The opposite direction has been nearly neglected so far. Microclimatic variables differ in magnitude in the transition zone between arable land and forest. They affect habitat properties, biotic activity, carbon and nitrogen stocks, as well as turn-over rates under the different input of organic matter.
We conducted microclimatic measurements in two 105 m long transects perpendicular to the boundaries in transition zones of forests to arable land for more than one year. In addition, we measured aboveground biomass, litterfall, soil carbon and nitrogen content. In this paper, we explain the measurement design and methodology as well as make the data openly accessible.