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Special Issue "Forest Hydrology and Watershed"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Fan-Rui Meng

University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, Fredericton, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 506 4534921
Interests: Hydrology; Ecological Modeling; Watershed Management; Soil Erosion and Conservation; Soil Mapping and Site Classification; GIS and Landscape Analysis; Application of Drones in Forestry and Environmental Protection; Forest Growth and Yield Models; Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation; Carbon Cycling and Carbon Accounting for Forest System
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Altaf Arain

School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 905-525-9140 Ext 27941
Fax: 905 546 0463
Interests: hydrometeorology; forest hydrology; evaporation; forest carbon cycle; managed forests; afforestation; eddy covariance technique; ecosystem models; land surface atmosphere interaction models
Guest Editor
Dr. Qiang Li

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Victoria, Victoria BC V8W 2Y2
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1-250-807-8779
Fax: +1-250-807-8005
Interests: Climate change; Forest disturbance; Forest hydrology; Ecohydrology; Baseflow separation; Hydrological modelling; Hydrogeology; Watershed management.
Guest Editor
Prof. Michael Pisaric

Department of Geography and Tourism Studies Brock University 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON. L2S 3A1 Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 905-688-5550 ext. 6152
Fax: +1-905-688-6369
Interests: Climate change; Dendrochronology; Paleolimnology; Arctic ecosystems; Boreal ecosystems, Landscape evolution, Disturbance regimes, Forest fires, Ecosystem change.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Changes in forest area and forest types, caused by nature and anthropogenic disturbances, have significant impacts on hydrological processes at the watershed level. Natural forest disturbances (e.g., wildfire and insect infestation) and anthropogenic interventions (e.g., forest harvest, plantation and urbanization) have caused dramatic changes in forests across the globe. Anticipated climate change will have significant impacts on forests by altering the extent and frequency of natural disturbances, and will interact with anthropogenic disturbances. Climate change and changes in forest cover are considered as the most important drivers for hydrological processes in forested watersheds. Understanding how two drivers interactively influence hydrological processes, water quality, and ecosystems are pivotal for sustainable water management and ecosystem function. We would like to dedicate a Special Issue of Forests to discuss the interactions between forests and climate hydrology at the watershed level. We welcome research papers focused on the effects of forests and change in forests on hydrological regimes, water quality, and aquatic habitats in watersheds of different sizes. We encourage submissions dealing with field observations, as well as statistical and hydrological modeling for addressing future scientific challenges.

Prof. Fan-Rui Meng
Prof. Altaf Arain
Mr. Qiang Li
Prof. Michael Pisaric
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 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

  • Forest Hydrology
  • Climate Change
  • Watershed Management
  • Hydrological Modeling
  • Water Quality
  • Cumulative Effects
  • Stream Discharge

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Cumulative Effects of Forest Disturbance and Climate Variability on Streamflow in the Deadman River Watershed
Forests 2019, 10(2), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020196 (registering DOI)
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
Climatic variability and cumulative forest cover change are the two dominant factors affecting hydrological variability in forested watersheds. Separating the relative effects of each factor on streamflow is gaining increasing attention. This study adds to the body of literature by quantifying the relative [...] Read more.
Climatic variability and cumulative forest cover change are the two dominant factors affecting hydrological variability in forested watersheds. Separating the relative effects of each factor on streamflow is gaining increasing attention. This study adds to the body of literature by quantifying the relative contributions of those two drivers to the changes in annual mean flow, low flow, and high flow in a large forested snow dominated watershed, the Deadman River watershed (878 km2) in the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada. Over the study period of 1962 to 2012, the cumulative effects of forest disturbance significantly affected the annual mean streamflow. The effects became statistically significant in 1989 at the cumulative forest disturbance level of 12.4% of the watershed area. The modified double mass curve and sensitivity-based methods consistently revealed that forest disturbance and climate variability both increased annual mean streamflow during the disturbance period (1989–2012), with an average increment of 14 mm and 6 mm, respectively. The paired-year approach was used to further investigate the relative contributions to low and high flows. Our analysis showed that low and high flow increased significantly by 19% and 58%, respectively over the disturbance period (p < 0.05). We conclude that forest disturbance and climate variability have significantly increased annual mean flow, low flow and high flow over the last 50 years in a cumulative and additive manner in the Deadman River watershed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology and Watershed)
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Open AccessArticle Attribution Analysis for Runoff Change on Multiple Scales in a Humid Subtropical Basin Dominated by Forest, East China
Forests 2019, 10(2), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020184
Received: 12 January 2019 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
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Abstract
Attributing runoff change to different drivers is vital in order to better understand how and why runoff varies, and to further support decision makers on water resources planning and management. Most previous works attributed runoff change in the arid or semi-arid areas to [...] Read more.
Attributing runoff change to different drivers is vital in order to better understand how and why runoff varies, and to further support decision makers on water resources planning and management. Most previous works attributed runoff change in the arid or semi-arid areas to climate variability and human activity on an annual scale. However, attribution results may differ greatly according to different climatic zones, decades, temporal scales, and different contributors. This study aims to quantitatively attribute runoff change in a humid subtropical basin (the Qingliu River basin, East China) to climate variability, land-use change, and human activity on multiple scales over different periods by using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The results show that runoff increased during 1960–2012 with an abrupt change occurring in 1984. Annual runoff in the post-change period (1985–2012) increased by 16.05% (38.05 mm) relative to the pre-change period (1960–1984), most of which occurred in the winter and early spring (March). On the annual scale, climate variability, human activity, and land-use change (mainly for forest cover decrease) contributed 95.36%, 4.64%, and 12.23% to runoff increase during 1985–2012, respectively. On the seasonal scale, human activity dominated runoff change (accounting for 72.11%) in the dry season during 1985–2012, while climate variability contributed the most to runoff change in the wet season. On the monthly scale, human activity was the dominant contributor to runoff variation in all of the months except for January, May, July, and August during 1985–2012. Impacts of climate variability and human activity on runoff during 2001–2012 both became stronger than those during 1985–2000, but counteracted each other. The findings should help understandings of runoff behavior in the Qingliu River and provide scientific support for local water resources management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology and Watershed)
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Open AccessArticle The Hydrological Impact of Extreme Weather-Induced Forest Disturbances in a Tropical Experimental Watershed in South China
Forests 2018, 9(12), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9120734
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 24 November 2018
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Abstract
Tropical forests are frequently disturbed by extreme weather events including tropical cyclones and cold waves, which can not only yield direct impact on hydrological processes but also produce indirect effect on hydrology by disturbing growth and structures of tropical forests. However, the hydrological [...] Read more.
Tropical forests are frequently disturbed by extreme weather events including tropical cyclones and cold waves, which can not only yield direct impact on hydrological processes but also produce indirect effect on hydrology by disturbing growth and structures of tropical forests. However, the hydrological response to extreme weather-induced forest disturbances especially in tropical forested watersheds has been less evaluated. In this study, a tropical experimental watershed in Hainan Province, China, was selected to investigate the hydrological responses to extreme weather-induced forest disturbances by use of a single watershed approach and the paired-year approach. Key results are: (1) extreme weather-induced forest disturbances (e.g., typhoon and cold wave) generally had a positive effect on streamflow in the study watershed, while climate variability either yielded a negative effect or a positive effect in different periods; (2) the response of low flows to forest discussion was more pronounced; (3) the relative contribution of forest disturbances to annual streamflow (48.6%) was higher than that of climate variability (43.0%) from 1995 to 2005. Given the increasing extreme weather with climate change and their possible catastrophic effects on tropical forests and hydrology in recent decades, these findings are essential for future adaptive water resources and forest management in the tropical forested watersheds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology and Watershed)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Water-Storage Capacity of Bryophytes along an Altitudinal Gradient from Temperate Forests to the Alpine Zone
Forests 2018, 9(7), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070433
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
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Abstract
Forests play crucial roles in regulating the amount and timing of streamflow through the water storage function. Bryophytes contribute to this increase in water storage owing to their high water-holding capacity; however, they might be severely damaged by climate warming. This study examined [...] Read more.
Forests play crucial roles in regulating the amount and timing of streamflow through the water storage function. Bryophytes contribute to this increase in water storage owing to their high water-holding capacity; however, they might be severely damaged by climate warming. This study examined the water storage capacity (WSC) of bryophytes in forests in the mountainous areas of Japan. Sampling plots (100 m2) were established along two mountainous trails at 200-m altitude intervals. Bryophytes were sampled in these plots using 100-cm2 quadrats, and their WSC was evaluated according to the maximum amount of water retained in them (WSC-quadrat). The total amount of water in bryophytes within each plot (WSC-plot) was then calculated. The WSC-quadrat was affected by the forms of bryophyte communities (life forms) and their interactions, further influencing soil moisture. The WSC-quadrat did not show any significant trend with altitude, whereas, the highest WSC-plot values were obtained in subalpine forests. These changes to WSC-plot were explained by large differences in bryophyte cover with altitude. As the WSC controlled by the life forms might be vulnerable to climate warming, it can provide an early indicator of how bryophyte WCS and associated biological activities are influenced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology and Watershed)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Quantifying Impacts of Forest Recovery on Water Yield in Two Large Watersheds in the Cold Region of Northeast China
Forests 2018, 9(7), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070392
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2571 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology and Watershed)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial and Temporal Patterns in Nonstationary Flood Frequency across a Forest Watershed: Linkage with Rainfall and Land Use Types
Forests 2018, 9(6), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060339
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 3 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
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Abstract
Understanding the response of flood frequency to impact factors could help water resource managers make better decisions. This study applied an integrated approach of a hydrological model and partial least squares (PLS) regression to quantify the influences of rainfall and forest landscape on [...] Read more.
Understanding the response of flood frequency to impact factors could help water resource managers make better decisions. This study applied an integrated approach of a hydrological model and partial least squares (PLS) regression to quantify the influences of rainfall and forest landscape on flood frequency dynamics in the Upper Honganjian watershed (981 km2) in China. The flood events of flood seasons in return periods from two to 100 years, wet seasons in return periods from two to 20 years, and dry seasons in return periods from two to five years show similar dynamics. Our study suggests that rainfall and the forest landscape are pivotal factors triggering flood event alterations in lower return periods, that flood event dynamics in higher return periods are attributed to hydrological regulations of water infrastructures, and that the influence of rainfall on flood events is much greater than that of land use in the dry season. This effective and simple approach could be applied to a variety of other watersheds for which a digital spatial database is available, hydrological data are lacking, and the hydroclimate context is variable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology and Watershed)
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Open AccessArticle Biomass Carbon Sequestration Potential by Riparian Forest in the Tarim River Watershed, Northwest China: Implication for the Mitigation of Climate Change Impact
Forests 2018, 9(4), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040196
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (8859 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Carbon management in forests has become the most important agenda of the first half of the 21st century in China in the context of the mitigation of climate change impact. As the main producer of the inland river basin ecosystem in arid region [...] Read more.
Carbon management in forests has become the most important agenda of the first half of the 21st century in China in the context of the mitigation of climate change impact. As the main producer of the inland river basin ecosystem in arid region of Northwest China, the desert riparian forest maintains the regional environment and also holds a great significance in regulating the regional/global carbon cycle. In this study, we estimated the total biomass, carbon storage, as well as monetary ecosystem service values of desert riparian Populus euphratica Oliv. in the lower reaches of the Tarim River based on terrestrial forest inventory data within an area of 100 ha (100 plots with sizes of 100 m × 100 m) and digitized tree data within 1000 ha (with 10 m × 10 m grid) using a statistical model of biomass estimation against tree height (TH) and diameter at breast height (DBH) data. Our results show that total estimated biomass and carbon storage of P. euphratica within the investigated area ranged from 3.00 to 4317.00 kg/ha and from 1.82 to 2158.73 kg/ha, respectively. There was a significant negative relationship (p < 0.001) between biomass productivity of these forests and distance to the river and groundwater level. Large proportions of biomass (64% of total biomass) are estimated within 200 m distance to the river where groundwater is relatively favorable for vegetation growth and biomass production. However, our data demonstrated that total biomass showed a sharp decreasing trend with increasing distance to the river; above 800 m distance, less biomass and carbon storage were estimated. The total monetary value of the ecosystem service “carbon storage” provided by P. euphratica was estimated to be $6.8 × 104 USD within the investigated area, while the average monetary value was approximately $70 USD per ha, suggesting that the riparian forest ecosystem in the Tarim River Basin should be considered a relevant regional carbon sink. The findings of this study help to establish a better understanding of the spatial distribution pattern of P. euphratica forest under water scarcity and can also provide an alternative approach to local decision-makers for efficient and precise assessment of forest carbon resources for emission reduction programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology and Watershed)
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