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In this work we explore the temperature dependence of the interlayer exchange coupling in correlation with the behavior of the different anisotropy contributions using a laterally resolving ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) technique the photothermally modulated (PM)–FMR. The system investigated for this purpose was a Ag/Fe/Ag-wedge/Fe/Ag-system grown by molecular beam epitaxy. The lateral resolution achieved in the PM–FMR experiment was 20 μm. For the first time the lateral resolved PM–FMR experiments were performed at different temperatures in the range of 150 K–360 K, the temperature dependence of the magnetic anisotropy parameters and the interlayer exchange of the Fe/Ag system could be measured with a minimum set of samples with a very high accuracy. The correlation between the temperature dependence of the crystalline and the surface anisotropy yields the experimental evidence, that both anisotropies stem from the same microscopic mechanism. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.