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Forests 2018, 9(10), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100645

Hydrology of Drained Peatland Forest: Numerical Experiment on the Role of Tree Stand Heterogeneity and Management

1
Department of Built Environment, Aalto University School of Engineering, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland
2
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland
3
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), FI-90570 Oulu, Finland
4
Faculty of Science and Forestry, University of Eastern Finland, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Abstract

A prerequisite for sustainable peatland forestry is sufficiently low water table (WT) level for profitable tree production. This requires better understanding on controls and feedbacks between tree stand and its evapotranspiration, drainage network condition, climate, and WT levels. This study explores the role of spatial tree stand distribution in the spatiotemporal distribution of WT levels and site water balance. A numerical experiment was conducted by a three-dimensional (3-D) hydrological model (FLUSH) applied to a 0.5 ha peatland forest assuming (1) spatially uniform interception and transpiration, (2) interception and transpiration scaled with spatial distributions of tree crown and root biomass, and (3) the combination of spatially scaled interception and uniform transpiration. Site water balance and WT levels were simulated for two meteorologically contrasting years. Spatial variations in transpiration were found to control WT levels even in a forest with relatively low stand stem volume (<100 m3/ha). Forest management scenarios demonstrated how stand thinning and reduced drainage efficiency raised WT levels and increased the area and duration of excessively wet conditions having potentially negative economic (reduced tree growth) and environmental (e.g., methane emissions, phosphorus mobilization) consequences. In practice, silvicultural treatment manipulating spatial stand structure should be optimized to avoid emergence of wet spots. View Full-Text
Keywords: distributed hydrological modeling; drained peatland forest; spatial biomass distribution; water balance; water table depth distributed hydrological modeling; drained peatland forest; spatial biomass distribution; water balance; water table depth
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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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Stenberg, L.; Haahti, K.; Hökkä, H.; Launiainen, S.; Nieminen, M.; Laurén, A.; Koivusalo, H. Hydrology of Drained Peatland Forest: Numerical Experiment on the Role of Tree Stand Heterogeneity and Management. Forests 2018, 9, 645.

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