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Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1017; doi:10.3390/su9061017

Effect of National-Scale Afforestation on Forest Water Supply and Soil Loss in South Korea, 1971–2010

Department of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 April 2017 / Revised: 6 June 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
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Afforestation of forests in South Korea may provide an example of the benefit of afforestation on precipitation storage and erosion control. In this study, we presented the effects of afforestation on water supply and soil loss prevention. A spatio-temporal simulation of forest water yield and soil loss was performed from 1971–2010 using InVEST water yield and SWAT models. A forest stock change map was produced by combining land cover data and National Forest Inventory data. The forest water yield increased about twice with changes in forest stock and climate from 1971–2010 and showed a spatially homogeneous water supply capacity. In the same period, the soil loss decreased more than three times, and the volatility of soil loss, in the 2010s, was smaller than before. The analysis of the change in forest stock without considering climate change showed an increase of 43% in forest water yield and a decrease of 87% in soil loss. An increase in precipitation increased the water yield, but also increased the soil loss volume. A change in forest stock led to positive changes in both. This study presents functional positive effects of the afforestation program in South Korea that can be useful in various afforestation programs in other countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: afforestation; forest water yield; soil loss; forest stock change; InVEST; SWAT afforestation; forest water yield; soil loss; forest stock change; InVEST; SWAT

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kim, G.S.; Lim, C.-H.; Kim, S.J.; Lee, J.; Son, Y.; Lee, W.-K. Effect of National-Scale Afforestation on Forest Water Supply and Soil Loss in South Korea, 1971–2010. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1017.

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