Can forest watershed management mitigate climate change impacts on water resources?

  • Authors: Vose, James M.; Ford, Chelcy R.; Laseter, Stephanie; Dymond, Salli; Sun, GE; Adams, Mary Beth; Sebestyen, Stephen; Campbell, John; Luce, Charles; Amatya, Devendra; Elder, Kelly; Heartsill-Scalley, Tamara.
  • Publication Year: 2012
  • Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
  • Source: In: Webb, Ashley A.; Bonell, Mike; Bren, Leon; Lane, Patrick N. J.; et. al., eds. Revisiting experimental catchment studies in forest hydrology. Proceedings of a workshop held during the XXV International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics; 2011 June 27- July 8; Melbourne, Australia. International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 353. Osfordshire, UK: International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication: 12-25.

Abstract

Long-term hydrology and climate data from United States Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges (EFR) provide critical information on the interactions among climate, streamflow, and forest management practices. We examined the relationships among streamflow responses to climate variation and forest management using long-term data. Analysis of climate data from a subset of EFRs suggested an increase in air temperature over the past 20-30 years. Streamflow increased initially after cutting for all sites and cutting treatments, but the longer term responses vary considerably across sites and treatments. Streamflow response following cutting without vegetation conversion depends on variation in treatment, soils, vegetation, and climatic regimes among sites. Statistical models indicate that many of the management treatments result in forest stand structure and species composition interact with climate differently than the unmanaged reference stand, indicating that forest management may exacerbate or mitigate the effects of future climatic conditions.

  • Citation: Vose, James M.; Ford, Chelcy R.; Laseter, Stephanie; Dymond, Salli; Sun, GE; Adams, Mary Beth; Sebestyen, Stephen; Campbell, John; Luce, Charles; Amatya, Devendra; Elder, Kelly; Heartsill-Scalley, Tamara. 2012. Can forest watershed management mitigate climate change impacts on water resources?. In: Webb, Ashley A.; Bonell, Mike; Bren, Leon; Lane, Patrick N. J.; et. al., eds. Revisiting experimental catchment studies in forest hydrology. Proceedings of a workshop held during the XXV International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics; 2011 June 27- July 8; Melbourne, Australia. International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 353. Osfordshire, UK: International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication: 12-25.
  • Keywords: United States Forest Service paired watersheds; climate change; streamflow; forest management; interactions
  • Posted Date: September 16, 2014
  • Modified Date: September 16, 2014
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    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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