Forest Hydrology: Processes, Assessment and Management

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 17815

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, University of Sassari, viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Interests: forest hydrology; root reinforcement; shallow landslide; hydrological processes; forest engineering; forestry

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Guest Editor
School of Agricultural Forest and Food Sciences, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Länggasse 85, 3052 Zollikofen, Switzerland
Interests: quantitative soil bioengineering; protection forest management; natural hazards; root reinforcement; shallow landslides; soil erosion; forest hydrology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Vegetation strongly influences hydrology both on the slope and on the catchment area. Hydrological processes represent a key point for the hydrological response of small mountain catchment areas. The multifunctionality of the forest also lies in the possibility of offering services such as flood peak mitigation and mitigation of surface erosion. The study of the interactions between the different eco-hydrological components (the interactions among vegetation, the land surface, the vadose zone, and the groundwater) is fundamental to understand how they will respond under different forest management and under a changing climate. Therefore, evaluation, quantification, modeling, and experimental data are all fundamental elements for a more conscious forest management. 

This Special Issue aims to collect the latest developments and applications of both basic and applied research in forest hydrology and forest management, with particular attention to protection forests. Research can focus, though not exclusively, on hydraulic connectivity, subsurface drainage, surface erosion, and rainfall-induced shallow landslides, isotopic traces, stem-fall and through-fall processes, inflow–outflow water balance, and hydrological response of different forms of forest management and land use.

Dr. Filippo Giadrossich
Dr. Massimiliano Schwarz
Dr. Simone Di Prima
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Eco-hydrology 
  • Preferential subsurface flow 
  • Dual porosity 
  • Tracers 
  • Land use changes 
  • Catchment hydrology 
  • Runoff processes 
  • Sustainable forestry systems 
  • Protection forest management 
  • Soil erosion and shallow landslides

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

21 pages, 4780 KiB  
Article
Impact of Climate Change on the Hydrology of the Forested Watershed That Drains to Lake Erken in Sweden: An Analysis Using SWAT+ and CMIP6 Scenarios
by Inmaculada C. Jiménez-Navarro, Patricia Jimeno-Sáez, Adrián López-Ballesteros, Julio Pérez-Sánchez and Javier Senent-Aparicio
Forests 2021, 12(12), 1803; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12121803 - 18 Dec 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3250
Abstract
Precipitation and temperature around the world are expected to be altered by climate change. This will cause regional alterations to the hydrological cycle. For proper water management, anticipating these changes is necessary. In this study, the basin of Lake Erken (Sweden) was simulated [...] Read more.
Precipitation and temperature around the world are expected to be altered by climate change. This will cause regional alterations to the hydrological cycle. For proper water management, anticipating these changes is necessary. In this study, the basin of Lake Erken (Sweden) was simulated with the recently released software SWAT+ to study such alterations in a short (2026–2050), medium (2051–2075) and long (2076–2100) period, under two different climate change scenarios (SSP2-45 and SSP5-85). Seven global climate models from the latest projections of future climates that are available (CIMP 6) were compared and ensembled. A bias-correction of the models’ data was performed with five different methods to select the most appropriate one. Results showed that the temperature is expected to increase in the future from 2 to 4 °C, and precipitation from 6% to 20%, depending on the scenario. As a result, water discharge would also increase by about 18% in the best-case scenario and by 50% in the worst-case scenario, and the surface runoff would increase between 5% and 30%. The floods and torrential precipitations would also increase in the basin. This trend could lead to soil impoverishment and reduced water availability in the basin, which could damage the watershed’s forests. In addition, rising temperatures would result in a 65% reduction in the snow water equivalent at best and 92% at worst. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology: Processes, Assessment and Management)
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12 pages, 24039 KiB  
Article
Contrasts in Top Soil Infiltration Processes for Degraded vs. Restored Lands. A Case Study at the Perijá Range in Colombia
by Sergio Esteban Lozano-Baez, Yamileth Domínguez-Haydar, Bob W. Zwartendijk, Miguel Cooper, Conrado Tobón and Simone Di Prima
Forests 2021, 12(12), 1716; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12121716 - 07 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2709
Abstract
Governments are increasingly committing to significant ecological restoration. However, the impacts of forest restoration on local hydrological services are surprisingly poorly understood. Particularly, limited information is available about the impacts of tree planting on soil infiltration processes and runoff pathways. Thus, we investigated [...] Read more.
Governments are increasingly committing to significant ecological restoration. However, the impacts of forest restoration on local hydrological services are surprisingly poorly understood. Particularly, limited information is available about the impacts of tree planting on soil infiltration processes and runoff pathways. Thus, we investigated the saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) and preferential flow pathways in three land-cover types: (i) Active Restoration, (ii) Degraded Land, and (iii) Reference Forest, with contrasting differences in soil profile and land use history in the municipality of La Jagua de Ibirico, César department, Colombia. We conducted soil sampling, using the Beerkan method to determine Ks values. We also measured vegetation attributes (i.e., canopy cover, vegetation height, diameter at breast height, and total number of trees) and carried out three dye tracer experiments for each study site. The blue dye experiments revealed that near surface matrix infiltration was dominant for Degraded Land, while at the Active Restoration and Reference Forest, this only occurred at local surface depressions. The general infiltration pattern at the three land uses is indicated as being macropore flow with mixed interaction with the matrix and highly affected by the presence of rock fragments. The deeper infiltration patterns occur by preferential flow due to the presence of roots and rock fragments. The mean Ks for the Active Restoration (240 mm h−1) was much higher than the Ks at Degraded Land (40 mm h−1) but still considerably lower than the Reference Forest (324 mm h−1). These results indicate that top soil infiltration capacity and soil physical parameters not only directly regulate the amount of infiltration but also infiltration patterns and runoff processes, leading to lower infiltration and increased excess overland flow for Degraded Land than for other land uses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology: Processes, Assessment and Management)
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16 pages, 4338 KiB  
Article
Response of Runoff to Extreme Land Use Change in the Permafrost Region of Northeastern China
by Peng Hu, Tijiu Cai, Fengxiang Sui, Liangliang Duan, Xiuling Man and Xueqing Cui
Forests 2021, 12(8), 1021; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12081021 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1704
Abstract
To study the response of runoff to extreme changes in land use, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was used to construct historical, extreme, and future scenarios for several major landscape types in a permafrost region of northeastern China. The results [...] Read more.
To study the response of runoff to extreme changes in land use, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was used to construct historical, extreme, and future scenarios for several major landscape types in a permafrost region of northeastern China. The results show that the SWAT model is applicable in the Tahe River Basin; forestlands, shrublands, wetlands, and grasslands are the main land-use types in this basin, and the transfers among them from 1980–2015 have impacted runoff by less than 5%. Under extreme land use-change scenarios, the simulated runoff decreased from grasslands, to wetlands, shrublands, and finally, forestlands. The conversion of extreme land-use scenarios produces different hydrological effects. When forestland is converted to grassland, runoff increases by 25.32%, when forestland is converted to wetland, runoff increases by 13.34%, and the conversion of shrubland to forestland reduces runoff by 13.25%. In addition, the sensitivity of runoff to different land-use changes was much greater during flood seasons than in dry seasons. Compared to the reference year of 2015, the annual simulated runoff under the two future land-use scenarios (shrublands to forestlands and shrublands to wetland) was less. Also, both future land-use scenarios showed effects to decrease flooding and increased dryness, This study provided important insight into the integrated management of land use and water resources in the Tahe River Basin and the permafrost region of northeastern China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology: Processes, Assessment and Management)
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15 pages, 14172 KiB  
Article
Spatial Variability and Optimal Number of Rain Gauges for Sampling Throughfall under Single Oak Trees during the Leafless Period
by Omid Fathizadeh, Seyed Mohammad Moein Sadeghi, Iman Pazhouhan, Sajad Ghanbari, Pedram Attarod and Lei Su
Forests 2021, 12(5), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12050585 - 07 May 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2144
Abstract
This study examined the spatial variability of throughfall (Tf) and its implications for sampling throughfall during the leafless period of oak trees. To do this, we measured Tf under five single Brant’s oak trees (Quercus brantii var. Persica [...] Read more.
This study examined the spatial variability of throughfall (Tf) and its implications for sampling throughfall during the leafless period of oak trees. To do this, we measured Tf under five single Brant’s oak trees (Quercus brantii var. Persica), in the Zagros region of Iran, spanning a six-month-long study period. Overall, the Tf amounted to 85.7% of gross rainfall. The spatial coefficient of variation (CV) for rainstorm total Tf volumes was 25%, on average, and it decreased as the magnitude of rainfall increased. During the leafless period, Tf was spatially autocorrelated over distances of 1 to 3.5 m, indicating the benefits of sampling with relatively elongated troughs. Our findings highlight the great variability of Tf under the canopies of Brant’s oaks during their leafless period. We may also conclude that the 29 Tf collectors used in the present study were sufficient to robustly estimate tree-scale Tf values within a 10% error of the mean at the 95% confidence level. Given that a ±10% uncertainty in Tf is associated with a ±100% uncertainty in interception loss, this underscores the challenges in its measurement at the individual tree level in the leafless season. These results are valuable for determining the number and placement of Tf collectors, and their expected level of confidence, when measuring tree-level Tf of scattered oak trees and those in forest stands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology: Processes, Assessment and Management)
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20 pages, 4087 KiB  
Article
Daily Actual Evapotranspiration Estimation in a Mediterranean Ecosystem from Landsat Observations Using SEBAL Approach
by Hassan Awada, Simone Di Prima, Costantino Sirca, Filippo Giadrossich, Serena Marras, Donatella Spano and Mario Pirastru
Forests 2021, 12(2), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12020189 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2532
Abstract
Quantifying actual evapotranspiration (ETa) over natural vegetation is crucial in evaluating the water status of ecosystems and the water-use patterns in local or regional hydrological basins. Remote sensing-based surface energy balance models have been used extensively for estimating ETa in [...] Read more.
Quantifying actual evapotranspiration (ETa) over natural vegetation is crucial in evaluating the water status of ecosystems and the water-use patterns in local or regional hydrological basins. Remote sensing-based surface energy balance models have been used extensively for estimating ETa in agro-environments; however, the application of these models to natural ecosystems is still limited. The surface energy balance algorithm for land (SEBAL) physical-based surface energy balance model was applied to estimate the actual evapotranspiration over a heterogeneous coverage of Mediterranean maquis in a natural reserve in Sardinia, Italy. The model was applied on 19 Landsat 5 and 8 images from 2009 to 2014, and the results were compared to the data of a micrometeorological station with eddy covariance flux measurements. Comparing the SEBAL-based evaporative fraction (ΛS) to the corresponding tower-derived evaporative fractions (ΛT) showed good flux estimations in the Landsat overpass time (Coefficient of determination R2 = 0.77, root mean square error RMSE = 0.05 and mean absolute error MAE = 0.076). Three methods were evaluated for upscaling instantaneous latent heat flux (λE) to daily actual evapotranspiration (ETa,D). The upscaling methods use the evaporative fraction (Λ), the reference evapotranspiration fraction (EFr) and the ratio of daily to instantaneous incoming shortwave radiation (Rs24/Rsi) as upscaling factors under the hypothesis of diurnal self-preservation. A preliminary analysis performed using only in-situ measured data demonstrated that the three factors were relatively self-preserved during the daytime, and can yield good ETa,D estimations, particularly when obtained at near the Landsat scene acquisition time (≈10:00 UTC). The upscaling factors obtained from SEBAL retrieved instantaneous fluxes, and some ancillary measured meteorological data were used to upscale SEBAL-estimated instantaneous actual λ to daily ET. The Λ EFr and Rs24/Rsi methods on average overestimated the measured ETa,D by nearly 20, 61 and 18%, respectively. The performance of the Λ and Rs24/Rsi methods was considered satisfactory, bearing in mind the high variable ground cover and the inherent variability of the biome composition, which cannot be properly represented in the Landsat moderate spatial resolution. In this study, we tested the potential of the SEBAL model application in a complex natural ecosystem. This modeling approach will be used to represent the spatial dynamics of ET, which will be integrated into further environmental and hydrological applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology: Processes, Assessment and Management)
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19 pages, 5016 KiB  
Article
Effects of Slope Gradient on Runoff and Sediment Yield on Machine-Induced Compacted Soil in Temperate Forests
by Meghdad Jourgholami, Sara Karami, Farzam Tavankar, Angela Lo Monaco and Rodolfo Picchio
Forests 2021, 12(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12010049 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 4030
Abstract
There has been a severely negative impact on soil water resources in temperate forests caused by the introduction of the type of heavy machinery in the forestry sector used for forest harvesting operations. These soil disturbances increase the raindrop impact on bare mineral [...] Read more.
There has been a severely negative impact on soil water resources in temperate forests caused by the introduction of the type of heavy machinery in the forestry sector used for forest harvesting operations. These soil disturbances increase the raindrop impact on bare mineral soil, decrease infiltration rate, detach soil particles, and enhance surface flow. According to several studies, the role of slope gradient influence on runoff and soil loss continues to be an issue, and therefore more study is needed in both laboratory simulations and field experiments. It is important to define and understand what the impacts of slope gradient in harvesting practices are, so as to develop guidelines for forest managers. More knowledge on the key factors that cause surface runoff and soil loss is important in order to limit any negative results from timber harvesting operations performed on hilly terrains in mountainous forests. A field setting using a runoff plot 2 m2 in size was installed to individualize the effects of different levels of slope gradient (i.e., 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40%) on the surface runoff, runoff coefficient, and sediment yield on the skid trails under natural rainfall conditions. Runoff and sediment yield were measured with 46 rainfall events which occurred during the first year after machine traffic from 17 July 2015 to 11 July 2016 under natural conditions. According to Pearson correlation, runoff (r = 0.51), runoff coefficient (r = 0.55), and sediment yield (r = 0.51) were significantly correlated with slope gradient. Results show that runoff increased from 2.45 to 6.43 mm as slope gradient increased from 5 to 25%, reaching to the critical point of 25% for slope. Also, further increasing the slope gradient from 25 to 40% led to a gradual decrease of the runoff from 6.43 to 4.62 mm. Runoff coefficient was significantly higher under the plot with a slope gradient of 25% by 0.265, whereas runoff coefficient was lowest under the plot with a slope gradient of 5%. Results show that sediment yield increased by increasing the slope gradient of plot ranging 5% to 30%, reaching to the critical point of 30%, and then decreased as the slope gradient increased from 35% to 40%. Runoff plot with a slope gradient of 30% (4.08 g m−2) ≈ plot length of 25% (3.91 g m−2) had a significantly higher sediment yield, whereas sediment yield was lowest under the plot with a slope gradient of 5% and 10%. A regression analysis of rainfall and runoff showed that runoff responses to rainfall for plots with different slope gradients were linearly and significantly increased. According to the current results, log skidding operations should be planned in the skid trails with a slope gradient lower than the 25 to 30% to suppress the negative effect of skidding operations on runoff and sediment yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology: Processes, Assessment and Management)
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