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The compound nature of soil temperature anomalies at various depths in the Czech Republic


For the first time, this study analyzed the changes in observed soil temperature anomalies in detail at five stratified depths over various time scales in the Czech Republic. From 2000 to 2020, data from 49 weather stations were used, which also incorporated a unique 69-year series of soil temperature measurements from the Doksany station, where measurements have been obtained since 1952. First, climatological statistics for the observed soil temperatures at various depths and time scales were calculated. Second, a comprehensive analysis of soil temperature trends and their links with atmospheric variables was performed. Third, daily soil temperature anomalies (DSTs) at various depths were calculated through the use of standardized values (z‐DST scores). To demonstrate that precipitation triggered a drop in DSTs, we also applied a quantile-based analysis to rainfall-DST-coupled datasets. Compound air–soil heat events in the warm half-years were quantified. Finally, three critical soil temperature thresholds were established, and three minimum soil temperature, namely, lower than − 3 °C, − 5 °C, and − 7 °C were designated as being critical for wheat plants with low, moderate, and high frost tolerance, respectively. We found that the effects from soil warming at all depths and seasons have increased and that the risk of critical winter soil temperatures that cause stress-induced damage in wheat surprisingly increased over the study period. The risk of winterkill is between 28 and 39% in most wheat-planting areas. The most frequent intense long-lasting heat waves occurred in the postheading stage of winter wheat.

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Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study is available from the corresponding author upon request.


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We would like to thank to prof. I. Prášil for sharing their experience on changes in overwintering winter wheat in the Czech Republic.


This work was supported by the national research projects MZe QK1910269 “Adaptation potential of common wheat in response to drought and extreme temperatures” and SS02030027 “Water systems and water management in the Czech Republic in conditions of the climate change”.

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Vera Potopová conceptualized the methodology and results, directed SS02030027 project, wrote of the article, draw most of the figures; Luboš Tűrkott participated in quality control datasets; Marie Musiolková proceeded most of the computation datasets; Martin Mozny made maps in GIS as well as project administration and funding acquisition of MZe QK1910269 project. Ondřej Lhotka participated in identification of heat waves.

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Correspondence to Vera Potopová.

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Potopová, V., Tűrkott, L., Musiolková, M. et al. The compound nature of soil temperature anomalies at various depths in the Czech Republic. Theor Appl Climatol 146, 1257–1275 (2021).

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