Modeling the hydrologic impacts of forest harvesting on Florida flatwoods
The great temporal and spatial variability of pine flatwoods hydrology suggests traditional short-term field methods may not be effective in evaluating the hydrologic effects of forest management. The flatwoods model was developed, calibrated and validated specifically for the cypress wetland-pine upland landscape. The model was applied to two typical flatwoods sites in north central Florida. Three harvesting treatments (Wetland Harvesting, Wetland + Upland Harvesting, and Control) under three typical climate conditions (dry, wet, and normal precipitation yearS) were simulated to study the potential first-year effects of common forest harvesting activities on flatwoods. Long-term (15 years) simulation was conducted to evaluate the hydrologic impacts at different stages of stand rotation. This simulation study concludes that forest harvesting has substantial effects on hydrology during dry periods and clear cutting of both wetlands and uplands has greater influence on the water regimes than partial harvesting. Compared to hilly regions, forest harvesting in the Florida coastal plains has less impact on water yield.