Climatically similar regions may experience different temperature extremes and weather patterns that warrant global comparisons of local microclimates. Urban agroecosystems are interesting sites to examine the multidimensional impacts of climate changes because they rely heavily on human intervention to maintain crop production under different and changing climate conditions. Here, we used urban community gardens across the California Central Coast metropolitan region, USA, and the Melbourne metropolitan region, Australia, to investigate how habitat-scale temperatures differ across climatically similar regions, and how people may be adapting their gardening behaviors to not only regional temperatures, but also to the local weather patterns around them. We show that, while annual means are very similar, there are strong interregional differences in temperature variability likely due to differences in the scale and scope of the temperature measurements, and regional topography. However, the plants growing within these systems are largely the same. The similarities may be due to gardeners’ capacities to adapt their gardening behaviors to reduce the adverse effects of local temperature variability on the productivity of their plot. Thus, gardens can serve as sites where people build their knowledge of local weather patterns and adaptive capacity to climate change and urban heat. Climate-focused studies in urban landscapes should consider how habitat-scale temperature variability is a background for interesting and meaningful social-ecological interactions.
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