Next Article in Journal
Observations and Prediction of Recovered Quality of Desalinated Seawater in the Strategic ASR Project in Liwa, Abu Dhabi
Previous Article in Journal
Effective Design and Planning Specification of Low Impact Development Practices Using Water Management Analysis Module (WMAM): Case of Malaysia
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Water 2017, 9(3), 176; doi:10.3390/w9030176

Linking Forest Cover to Water Quality: A Multivariate Analysis of Large Monitoring Datasets

1
University of Namur, Department of Geography, 61 rue de Bruxelles, 5000 Namur, Belgium
2
University of Liege, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Biosytem Engineering research unit, 2 Passage des Déportés, 5030 Gembloux, Belgium
3
Research institute of nature and forest INBO, Research group Nature & Society, Kliniekstraat 25, 1070 Brussels, Belgium
4
Belgian Biodiversity Platform BBPF, Avenue Louise 231 Louizalaan, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
5
University of Liège, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Biodiversity and Landscape group, UR TERRA, 2 Passage des Déportés, 5030 Gembloux, Belgium
6
Université catholique de Louvain, Earth and Life Institute, Environmental Sciences, Croix du sud 2 L7.05.09, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jiangyong Hu
Received: 17 December 2016 / Revised: 31 January 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2270 KB, uploaded 1 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

Forested catchments are generally assumed to provide higher quality water. However, this hypothesis must be validated in various contexts as interactions between multiple land use and land cover (LULC) types, ecological variables and water quality variables render this relationship highly complex. This paper applies a straightforward multivariate approach on a typical large monitoring dataset of a highly managed and densely populated area (Wallonia, Belgium; 10-year dataset), quantifying forest cover effects on nine physico-chemical water quality variables. Results show that forest cover explains about one third of the variability of water quality and is positively correlated with higher quality water. When controlling for spatial autocorrelation, forest cover still explains 9% of water quality. Unlike needle-leaved forest cover, broad-leaved forest cover presents an independent effect from ecological variables and explains independently 4.8% of water quality variability while it shares 5.8% with cropland cover. This study demonstrates clear independent effects of forest cover on water quality, and presents a method to tease out independent LULC effects from typical large multivariate monitoring datasets. Further research on explanatory variables, spatial distribution effects and water quality datasets could lead to effective strategies to mitigate pollution and reach legal targets. View Full-Text
Keywords: physico-chemical water quality; land cover; land use; forests; agriculture; Wallonia; Belgium; monitoring network; water framework directive; redundancy analysis physico-chemical water quality; land cover; land use; forests; agriculture; Wallonia; Belgium; monitoring network; water framework directive; redundancy analysis
Figures

Figure 1

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).

Supplementary material

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Brogna, D.; Michez, A.; Jacobs, S.; Dufrêne, M.; Vincke, C.; Dendoncker, N. Linking Forest Cover to Water Quality: A Multivariate Analysis of Large Monitoring Datasets. Water 2017, 9, 176.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top