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Forests 2018, 9(7), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070392

Quantifying Impacts of Forest Recovery on Water Yield in Two Large Watersheds in the Cold Region of Northeast China

Department of Forestry, School of Forestry, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
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Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology and Watershed)
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Abstract

In northern China, large-scale reforestations were implemented to restore the ecosystem functions (e.g., hydrology function). However, few studies have been conducted to quantify the relative contributions of forest recovery to water yield in boreal forest region across the globe. In this study, the impacts of forest recovery on the changes in mean annual water yield were assessed in two large forested watersheds in the boreal forest region of northeast China using three different approaches. As commonly considered, the results confirmed that forest recovery was the dominant driver of the reductions in annual water yield in the two watersheds in the past three decades (1987–2016), explaining 64.3% (15.4 mm) and 87.4% (40.7 mm) of variations in annual water yield for Upper Tahe watershed (UTH) and Xinancha watershed (XNC), respectively. By contrast, climate variability played minor role in annual water yield variation, explaining only 35.7% (8.5 mm) and 12.6% (7.2 mm) for UTH and XNC, respectively. The response differences between the two watersheds may mainly be attributed to differences in forest type, topography and climate regimes. This study provided important insight into sustainable forest and water resources management in the region. View Full-Text
Keywords: reforestation; annual water yield; forest hydrology; boreal forest; relative contribution reforestation; annual water yield; forest hydrology; boreal forest; relative contribution
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Duan, L.; Cai, T. Quantifying Impacts of Forest Recovery on Water Yield in Two Large Watersheds in the Cold Region of Northeast China. Forests 2018, 9, 392.

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