Next Article in Journal
Creating a Rainbow for Sustainability: The Case of Sustainable Beef
Previous Article in Journal
Evaluating the Use of QR Codes on Food Products
 
 
Article

The Large-Scale Effect of Forest Cover on Long-Term Streamflow Variations in Mediterranean Catchments of Central Chile

1
UNESCO Chair Surface Hydrology, University of Talca, Talca, Chile
2
Centro Nacional de Excelencia para la Industria de la Madera (CENAMAD), Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
3
Faculty of Forest Engineering and Nature Conservancy, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
4
Piteau Associates, Water Management Group, 2500 North Tucson Boulevard, Suite 100, Tucson, AZ 85716, USA
5
Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
6
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA
7
Intergubernmental Hydrological Programme, UNESCO, Montevideo 11200, Uruguay
8
Dirección de Transferencia Tecnológica, Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana, Santiago, Chile
9
Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geographic Sciences, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7, Canada
10
Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Flagstaff, AZ 86004, USA
11
Dirección General de Aguas, Santiago, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mohamed Salem Nashwan, Shamsuddin Shahid and Sanusi Shiru
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4443; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084443
Received: 14 January 2022 / Revised: 25 March 2022 / Accepted: 30 March 2022 / Published: 8 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Climate Change: Implications in Water and Environment)
Forest ecosystems play an important role in hydrological processes as surface and subsurface runoff, as well as the storage of water at the catchment scale. Therefore, it is important to have a greater understanding of the effects of forests in the long-term water balance of Mediterranean catchments. In this sense, this study evaluates the effect of native forests, forest plantations, and the combination of both, on long-term streamflow variations in central Chile, an unusual area of Mediterranean climate characterized by a well-marked annual cycle with dry summers and wet winters. Thus, the temporal pattern of monthly streamflow was evaluated for mean flow (Qmean), maximum flow (Qmax), and minimum flow (Qmin) in 42 large-scale (>200 km2) Mediterranean catchments. Each series of monthly streamflow data was QA/QC, and then evaluated using the Mann–Kendall’s non-parametric statistical test to detect temporal variations between 1994 and 2015. In addition to the previous analysis, the monthly series were grouped into wet seasons (April–September) and dry seasons (October–April), to determine if there were any significant differences within the annual hydrological cycle. The areas covered with native and forest plantations and their relative changes were evaluated for each catchment through streamflow variations and forest cover indicators. Results revealed that streamflow variations are positive and significant when more forest cover exists. The intra-catchment relationships assessed for both species revealed the significant role of native forests and mixed masses as key ecosystems for the long-term conservation of summer streamflow in Mediterranean catchments of central Chile. These findings encourage an urgent need to create highland afforestation programs on degraded areas of central Chile, to maximize water storage in a region that is quickly drying out due to unsustainable water and land use management practices and the effects of global warming. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest hydrology; large-scale effects; Chile; Mediterranean climates; streamflow variations forest hydrology; large-scale effects; Chile; Mediterranean climates; streamflow variations
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Pizarro, R.; Valdés-Pineda, R.; Garcia-Chevesich, P.A.; Ibáñez, A.; Pino, J.; Scott, D.F.; Neary, D.G.; McCray, J.E.; Castillo, M.; Ubilla, P. The Large-Scale Effect of Forest Cover on Long-Term Streamflow Variations in Mediterranean Catchments of Central Chile. Sustainability 2022, 14, 4443. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084443

AMA Style

Pizarro R, Valdés-Pineda R, Garcia-Chevesich PA, Ibáñez A, Pino J, Scott DF, Neary DG, McCray JE, Castillo M, Ubilla P. The Large-Scale Effect of Forest Cover on Long-Term Streamflow Variations in Mediterranean Catchments of Central Chile. Sustainability. 2022; 14(8):4443. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084443

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pizarro, Roberto, Rodrigo Valdés-Pineda, Pablo A. Garcia-Chevesich, Alfredo Ibáñez, Juan Pino, David F. Scott, Daniel G. Neary, John E. McCray, Miguel Castillo, and Patricio Ubilla. 2022. "The Large-Scale Effect of Forest Cover on Long-Term Streamflow Variations in Mediterranean Catchments of Central Chile" Sustainability 14, no. 8: 4443. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084443

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

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop