Study site with pronounced microclimatic heterogeneity. (a) Study site, a high alpine pasture with heterogenous topography located at 2,273 m a.s.l. in the mountain range of the Hohe Tauern in the Austrian Alps (12°49′21″ E 47°07′24″ N). The n = 30 plots were distributed within the black frame. (b) Seasonal course of soil temperature of the vegetative season in 2016 of the warmest (red) and the coldest plot (blue) measured with temperature loggers. The horizontal lines indicate the mean seasonal soil temperatures of the warmest (upper line, red) and coldest plot (lower line, blue). (c) False color image of the study site taken with an infrared thermal camera showing the microclimatic heterogeneity in surface temperature at noon. Each pixel represents the surface temperature of a given position. Black to blue pixels represent cold surface temperatures (e.g. the snowfield in the foreground), warmer colours are represented by a gradient from green over yellow to red and pink. The n = 30 plots were distributed within the black frame.