Preface for the article collection “Ecohydrological processes and ecosystem services”
Water is essential to life on Earth. Ecohydrology, the study of interactions between ecological and hydrological processes, is fundamental to our understanding and quantification of services provided by ecosystems. Our knowledge of ecohydrology is incomplete due to the complex nature of ecosystems, which are constantly changing under multiple stresses from air pollution to climate change, from deforestation to urbanization, and from soil erosion to soil pollution. Ecosystem services, the goods and services that ecosystems provide for human wellbeing, are increasingly adopted as a framework worldwide for ecological restoration and conservation, watershed management, and sustainable development policy making. Therefore, linking ecohydrological processes (e.g., evapotranspiration, streamflow, groundwater recharge) to ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration, water quality improvement, biodiversity conservation, heat island mitigation) is critical to the advancement of ecological science and ecosystem restoration at multiple scales, from a single species to the entire globe. This special issue includes ten articles that aim at addressing questions in the following research areas: Ecohydrological recovery processes in degraded territorial or aquatic ecosystems coupling processes and balances of water, carbon, and energy fluxes in natural or managed ecosystems Ecohydrological projections of ecosystem responses to climate change, land use change, and other human disturbances (e.g., wildland fires, urbanization) Advances in understanding the links between ecohydrological processes and ecosystem services under different environmental and socioeconomical settings.