A history of watershed research in experimental forests of the Interior Highlands

  • Authors: Marion, Daniel A.; Turton, Donald; Schleidt, Maria.
  • Publication Year: 2014
  • Publication Series: Book Chapter
  • Source: USDA Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges: Research for the Long-Term” Springer: New York City, pp. 341-366

Abstract

The history of watershed research in the Interior Highlands can be divided into four periods: Initial Start and Stumble (1930s–1950s), Reestablishment and Renewal (1960–1980), Partnerships and Expansion (1980–1990), and New Scales and Paths (1990–present). While each of these periods was marked by different societal concerns and scientific questions, experimental forests played a central role in accomplishing watershed research during all of these periods. Unlike other regions of the country, there was no dominating theme or inspirational leader to focus watershed research in one particular experimental forest; rather the work shifted between several experimental forests over time. Despite many changes in personnel and research direction, a significant body of knowledge has been developed over the past 70 years that has benefited scientists, forest managers, and the public. Fundamental knowledge has been gained regarding the components of the hydrologic system and how these components are affected by natural disturbances. Timber harvesting impacts on soil and water resources have been quantified and shown to be short-lived. Concerns about acid rain and road erosion also have been addressed and shown to be less severe than initially thought. These findings, coupled with the discovery that, in general, small watersheds responded in similar ways across the Interior Highlands, have been the basis for forest planning across the region. As new research challenges arise, experimental forests will continue to play a critical role in addressing these needs

  • Citation: Marion, Daniel A.; Turton, Donald; Schleidt, Maria. 2014. A history of watershed research in experimental forests of the Interior Highlands. In: Hayes DC, Stout SL, Crawford RF, Hoover AP, eds. USDA Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges: Research for the Long-Term” Springer: New York City, pp. 341-366.
  • Keywords: Interior Highlands · Forest hydrology · Paired watershed · Experimental forest · Research history
  • Posted Date: October 2, 2014
  • Modified Date: October 7, 2014
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