E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Forest Management and Water Resources in the Anthropocene"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2015)

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Ge Sun

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Services, Raleigh, NC, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: forest hydrology; modeling, climate change; watershed management
Guest Editor
Dr. James M. Vose

USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Center for Integrated Forest Science, Department for Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
E-Mail
Interests: ecohydrology; climate change; watershed ecosystem structure and function; disturbance ecology; fire ecology; restoration ecology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Decades of research has provided a depth of understanding on the relationships among forests and water, and how these relationships change in response to climate variability, disturbance, and forest management. This understanding has facilitated a strong predictive capacity and the development of best management practices to protect water resources with active management. Despite this understanding, the rapid pace of changes in climate, disturbance regimes, invasive species, human population growth, and land use expected in the 21st century is likely to create substantial challenges for watershed management that may require new approaches, models, and best management practices. These challenges are likely to be complex and large scale, involving a combination of direct effects and indirect biophysical watershed responses, as well as socioeconomic impacts and feedbacks. In this Special Issue of Forests we explore the complex relationships between forests and water in a rapidly changing environment, examine the trade-offs and conflicts between water and other resources, and examine new management approaches for sustaining water resources in the future.

Dr. James M. Vose
Dr. Ge Sun
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

  • streamflow
  • drought
  • floods
  • climate change
  • disturbance regimes, management
  • water scarcity

Published Papers (13 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-13
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Forest Paired Catchment Studies: What Do They Tell Us That Landscape-Level Monitoring Does Not?
Forests 2016, 7(8), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7080164
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1033 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forested catchments throughout the world are known for producing high quality water for human use. In the 20th Century, experimental forest catchment studies played a key role in studying the processes contributing to high water quality. The hydrologic processes investigated on these paired [...] Read more.
Forested catchments throughout the world are known for producing high quality water for human use. In the 20th Century, experimental forest catchment studies played a key role in studying the processes contributing to high water quality. The hydrologic processes investigated on these paired catchments have provided the science base for examining water quality responses to natural disturbances such as wildfire, insect outbreaks, and extreme hydrologic events, and human-induced disturbances such as timber harvesting, site preparation, prescribed fires, fertilizer applications, pesticide usage, rainfall acidification, and mining. This paper compares and contrasts the paired catchment approach with landscape-level water resource monitoring to highlight the information on hydrologic processes provided by the paired catchment approach that is not provided by the broad-brush landscape monitoring. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessCommunication
Forest Management Challenges for Sustaining Water Resources in the Anthropocene
Forests 2016, 7(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7030068
Received: 19 January 2016 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 10 March 2016 / Published: 15 March 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1204 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Earth has entered the Anthropocene epoch that is dominated by humans who demand unprecedented quantities of goods and services from forests. The science of forest hydrology and watershed management generated during the past century provides a basic understanding of relationships among forests [...] Read more.
The Earth has entered the Anthropocene epoch that is dominated by humans who demand unprecedented quantities of goods and services from forests. The science of forest hydrology and watershed management generated during the past century provides a basic understanding of relationships among forests and water and offers management principles that maximize the benefits of forests for people while sustaining watershed ecosystems. However, the rapid pace of changes in climate, disturbance regimes, invasive species, human population growth, and land use expected in the 21st century is likely to create substantial challenges for watershed management that may require new approaches, models, and best management practices. These challenges are likely to be complex and large scale, involving a combination of direct and indirect biophysical watershed responses, as well as socioeconomic impacts and feedbacks. We discuss the complex relationships between forests and water in a rapidly changing environment, examine the trade-offs and conflicts between water and other resources, and propose new management approaches for sustaining water resources in the Anthropocene. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Spatial Variations of Soil Moisture under Caragana korshinskii Kom. from Different Precipitation Zones: Field Based Analysis in the Loess Plateau, China
Forests 2016, 7(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7020031
Received: 29 September 2015 / Revised: 10 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (2644 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soil moisture scarcity has become the major limiting factor of vegetation restoration in the Loess Plateau of China. The aim of this study is: (i) to compare the spatial distribution of deep (up to 5 m) soil moisture content (SMC) beneath the introduced [...] Read more.
Soil moisture scarcity has become the major limiting factor of vegetation restoration in the Loess Plateau of China. The aim of this study is: (i) to compare the spatial distribution of deep (up to 5 m) soil moisture content (SMC) beneath the introduced shrub Caragana korshinskii Kom. under different precipitation zones in the Loess Plateau and (ii) to investigate the impacts of environmental factors on soil moisture variability. Soil samples were taken under C. korshinskii from three precipitation zones (Semiarid-350, Semiarid-410, Semiarid-470). We found that the highest soil moisture value was in the 0–0.1 m layer with a large coefficient of variation. The soil water storage under different precipitation zones increased following the increase of precipitation (i.e., Semiarid-350 < Semiarid-410 < Semiarid-470), although the degree of SMC variation was different for different precipitation zones. The SMC in the Semiarid-350 zone initially increased with soil depth, and then decreased until it reached the depth of 2.8-m. The SMC in the Semiarid-410 zone showed a decreasing trend from the top soil to 4.2-m depth. The SMC in the Semiarid-470 zone firstly decreased with soil depth, increased, and then decreased until it reached 4.6-m depth. All SMC values then became relatively constant after reaching the 2.8-m, 4.2-m, and 4.6-m depths for Semiarid-350, Semiarid-410, and Semiarid-470, respectively. The low but similar SMC values at the stable layers across the precipitation gradient indicate widespread soil desiccation in this region. Our results suggested that water deficit occurred in all of the three precipitation zones with precipitation, latitude, field capacity, and bulk density as the main environmental variables affecting soil moisture. Considering the correlations between precipitation, SMC and vegetation, appropriate planting density and species selection should be taken into account for introduced vegetation management. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Attribution Analyses of Impacts of Environmental Changes on Streamflow and Sediment Load in a Mountainous Basin, Vietnam
Forests 2016, 7(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7020030
Received: 29 November 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4075 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Located in the southeastern China and northern Vietnam, the Red River is an important international trans-boundary river that has experienced rapid deforestation and environmental changes over the past decades. We conducted attribution analysis of impacts of various environmental changes on streamflow and sediment [...] Read more.
Located in the southeastern China and northern Vietnam, the Red River is an important international trans-boundary river that has experienced rapid deforestation and environmental changes over the past decades. We conducted attribution analysis of impacts of various environmental changes on streamflow and sediment load. The contribution of reclassified environmental changes to total change of the streamflow and sediment load was separated. Land cover change based on climate-induced and human-induced indicators were defined. We found that human-induced land cover change was the main factor affecting changes of the streamflow and sediment load. Changes of the land cover were more pronounced in the dry season than in the wet season whereas sediment load changed more in the wet season than in the dry season. In addition, changes in sediment load were mainly caused by human-induced land cover change and the changes of land cover were more influential on sediment load than on streamflow in the Red River basin. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Forest to Urban Land Conversion and ENSO Phase on Water Quality of a Public Water Supply Reservoir
Forests 2016, 7(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7020029
Received: 15 November 2015 / Revised: 15 January 2016 / Accepted: 18 January 2016 / Published: 27 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We used coupled watershed and reservoir models to evaluate the impacts of deforestation and l Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase on drinking water quality. Source water total organic carbon (TOC) is especially important due to the potential for production of carcinogenic disinfection byproducts [...] Read more.
We used coupled watershed and reservoir models to evaluate the impacts of deforestation and l Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase on drinking water quality. Source water total organic carbon (TOC) is especially important due to the potential for production of carcinogenic disinfection byproducts (DBPs). The Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC) reservoir model is used to evaluate the difference between daily pre- and post- urbanization nutrients and TOC concentration. Post-disturbance (future) reservoir total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), TOC and chlorophyll-a concentrations were found to be higher than pre-urbanization (base) concentrations (p < 0.05). Predicted future median TOC concentration was 1.1 mg·L−1 (41% higher than base TOC concentration) at the source water intake. Simulations show that prior to urbanization, additional water treatment was necessary on 47% of the days between May and October. However, following simulated urbanization, additional drinking water treatment might be continuously necessary between May and October. One of six ENSO indices is weakly negatively correlated with the measured reservoir TOC indicating there may be higher TOC concentrations in times of lower streamflow (La Niña). There is a positive significant correlation between simulated TN and TP concentrations with ENSO suggesting higher concentrations during El Niño. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Global Index for Mapping the Exposure of Water Resources to Wildfire
Forests 2016, 7(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7010022
Received: 2 October 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 5 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (6820 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wildfires are keystone components of natural disturbance regimes that maintain ecosystem structure and functions, such as the hydrological cycle, in many parts of the world. Consequently, critical surface freshwater resources can be exposed to post-fire effects disrupting their quantity, quality and regularity. Although [...] Read more.
Wildfires are keystone components of natural disturbance regimes that maintain ecosystem structure and functions, such as the hydrological cycle, in many parts of the world. Consequently, critical surface freshwater resources can be exposed to post-fire effects disrupting their quantity, quality and regularity. Although well studied at the local scale, the potential extent of these effects has not been examined at the global scale. We take the first step toward a global assessment of the wildfire water risk (WWR) by presenting a spatially explicit index of exposure. Several variables related to fire activity and water availability were identified and normalized for use as exposure indicators. Additive aggregation of those indicators was then carried out according to their individual weight. The resulting index shows the greatest exposure risk in the tropical wet and dry forests. Intermediate exposure is indicated in mountain ranges and dry shrublands, whereas the lowest index scores are mostly associated with high latitudes. We believe that such an approach can provide important insights for water security by guiding global freshwater resource preservation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Influences of Land Use Change on Baseflow in Mountainous Watersheds
Forests 2016, 7(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7010016
Received: 18 September 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 6 January 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3864 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is crucial for effective water resource management in a watershed that the relationship between land use changes and baseflow. This study quantifies the influence of land use changes on the baseflow dynamics using a hydrological model and partial least-squares (PLS) regression in [...] Read more.
It is crucial for effective water resource management in a watershed that the relationship between land use changes and baseflow. This study quantifies the influence of land use changes on the baseflow dynamics using a hydrological model and partial least-squares (PLS) regression in the Upper Du Watershed (8961 km2), China. Our study suggests that forest can be a major factor with a negative impact on the baseflow. Additionally, farmland and urban land have second-order negative effects on the baseflow dynamics. Baseflow increases when forest is replaced by farmland because the evapotranspiration (ET), associated with baseflow recession, is weaker and shorter in duration in the farmland than in the forest. The conversion of forest to urban land increases baseflow owing to the presence of non-contributing impervious surfaces in urban areas, which prevents the urban land from intercepting the baseflow discharge. These results indicate that the baseflow dynamics are closely associated with varying land use types within a watershed. Thus, this study is intended to provide a deeper understanding of the baseflow processes and useful quantitative information on land use factors in watersheds, enabling more informed decision-making in forest and watershed management. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Streamflow Regime Variations Following Ecological Management on the Loess Plateau, China
Forests 2016, 7(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7010006
Received: 6 September 2015 / Revised: 15 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (1370 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The continuous ecological management of the Loess Plateau is known throughout the world for two strategies: the integrated soil conservation project that began in the 1970s, and the “Grain for Green” project that began in the 1990s. Six sub-catchments nested in the Beiluo [...] Read more.
The continuous ecological management of the Loess Plateau is known throughout the world for two strategies: the integrated soil conservation project that began in the 1970s, and the “Grain for Green” project that began in the 1990s. Six sub-catchments nested in the Beiluo River basin were selected to investigate streamflow regime variations during the two project periods. The annual streamflow trends and change points were detected using a bootstrap-based Mann-Kendall test and Pettitt test. Annual streamflow (from the 1950s to 2011) exhibited significantly negative trends in five out of six catchments, varying from −0.15 to −0.30 mm/a. During the integrated soil conservation period, the annual streamflow was reduced due to high flow decreases (5% of time exceeded), whereas in the low flows (95%) it increased in all sub-catchments. During the “Grain for Green” period, the annual streamflow decreased due to daily streamflow reductions at four stations. In addition to high flow and low flow decreases at the Wuqi and Liujiahe stations during the “Grain for Green” period, it is significant that the low flows continuously increased. Compared with trends from the forestry area, which includes the Zhangcunyi and Huangling stations, incremental annual streamflow reductions were observed in other sub-catchments, which can be linked to ecological management. This result implies that streamflow can be moderated by appropriate management options, even in semiarid areas. It was concluded that a stable streamflow regime can be achieved in vegetated areas, and streamflow moderation is dependent on ecological management practices. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Modeling Ecohydrological Processes and Spatial Patterns in the Upper Heihe Basin in China
Forests 2016, 7(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7010010
Received: 29 September 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (4971 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Heihe River is the second largest inland basin in China; runoff in the upper reach greatly affects the socio-economic development in the downstream area. The relationship between spatial vegetation patterns and catchment hydrological processes in the upper Heihe basin has remained unclear [...] Read more.
The Heihe River is the second largest inland basin in China; runoff in the upper reach greatly affects the socio-economic development in the downstream area. The relationship between spatial vegetation patterns and catchment hydrological processes in the upper Heihe basin has remained unclear to date. In this study, a distributed ecohydrological model is developed to simulate the hydrological processes with vegetation dynamics in the upper Heihe basin. The model is validated by hydrological observations at three locations and soil moisture observations at a watershed scale. Based on the simulated results, the basin water balance characteristics and their relationship with the vegetation patterns are analyzed. The mean annual precipitation and runoff increase with the elevation in a similar pattern. Spatial patterns of the actual evapotranspiration is mainly controlled by the precipitation and air temperature. At the same time, vegetation distribution enhances the spatial variability of the actual evapotranspiration. The highest actual evapotranspiration is around elevations of 3000–3600 m, where shrub and alpine meadow are the two dominant vegetation types. The results show the mutual interaction between vegetation dynamics and hydrological processes. Alpine sparse vegetation and alpine meadow dominate the high-altitude regions, which contribute most to the river runoff, and forests and shrub contribute relatively small amounts of water yield. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Land Use on Flow Rate Change Indices
Forests 2015, 6(11), 4349-4359; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6114349
Received: 10 September 2015 / Revised: 26 October 2015 / Accepted: 18 November 2015 / Published: 24 November 2015
PDF Full-text (1130 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The goal of this study was to analyze the impact of agriculture on the spatial and temporal variability of flow rate change indices from 1930 to 2008. The two indices used are the coefficient of immoderation (CI) and the coefficient of variation (CV). [...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to analyze the impact of agriculture on the spatial and temporal variability of flow rate change indices from 1930 to 2008. The two indices used are the coefficient of immoderation (CI) and the coefficient of variation (CV). Values of these two indices are higher for the L’Assomption River agricultural watershed than for the Matawin River forested watershed due to higher runoff in the former than in the latter. The difference in these values between the two watersheds is greater for winter, but it is lower for summer, when the difference in runoff between the two watersheds is strongly attenuated by the presence of crops. Regarding the temporal variability, a difference between the two watersheds is observed in the fall. For the agricultural watershed, mean values of neither index show a break in slope, while a break is observed for the forested watershed. In both watersheds, both indices are positively correlated with maximum temperature and total rainfall in winter, but only to this latter climate variable in the fall. In springtime, the two indices are negatively correlated with minimum temperature in the forested watershed, but only CV is correlated, positively, with this same climate variable in the agricultural watershed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Mapping Temporal Dynamics in a Forest Stream Network—Implications for Riparian Forest Management
Forests 2015, 6(9), 2982-3001; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6092982
Received: 1 June 2015 / Revised: 12 August 2015 / Accepted: 25 August 2015 / Published: 28 August 2015
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (963 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study focuses on avoiding negative effects on surface waters using new techniques for identifying wet areas near surface waters. This would aid planning and designing of forest buffer zones and off-road forestry traffic. The temporal variability in the geographical distribution of the [...] Read more.
This study focuses on avoiding negative effects on surface waters using new techniques for identifying wet areas near surface waters. This would aid planning and designing of forest buffer zones and off-road forestry traffic. The temporal variability in the geographical distribution of the stream network renders this type of planning difficult. A field study was performed in the 68 km2 Krycklan Catchment to illustrate the variability of a boreal stream network. The perennial stream length was 140 km while the stream length during high-flow conditions was 630 km. Comparing the field-measured stream network to the network presented on current maps showed that 58% of the perennial and 76% of the fully expanded network was missing on current maps. Similarly, cartographic depth-to-water maps showed that associated wet soils constituted 5% of the productive forest land during baseflow and 25% during high flow. Using a new technique, maps can be generated that indicate full stream networks, as well as seasonally active streams and associated wet soils, thus, forestry planning can be performed more efficiently and impacts on surface waters can be reduced. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Modeling Potential Impacts of Planting Palms or Tree in Small Holder Fruit Plantations on Ecohydrological Processes in the Central Amazon
Forests 2015, 6(8), 2530-2544; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6082530
Received: 9 June 2015 / Revised: 12 July 2015 / Accepted: 22 July 2015 / Published: 27 July 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (35748 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Native fruiting plants are widely cultivated in the Amazon, but little information on their water use characteristics can be found in the literature. To explore the potential impacts of plantations on local to regional water balance, we studied plant water use characteristics of [...] Read more.
Native fruiting plants are widely cultivated in the Amazon, but little information on their water use characteristics can be found in the literature. To explore the potential impacts of plantations on local to regional water balance, we studied plant water use characteristics of two native fruit plants commonly occurring in the Amazon region. The study was conducted in a mixed fruit plantation containing a dicot tree species (Cupuaçu, Theobroma grandiflorum) and a monocot palm species (Açai, Euterpe oleracea) close to the city of Manaus, in the Central Amazon. Scaling from sap flux measurements, palms had a 3.5-fold higher water consumption compared to trees with a similar diameter. Despite the high transpiration rates of the palms, our plantation had only one third of the potential water recycling capacity of natural forests in the area. Converting natural forest into such plantations will thus result in significantly higher runoff rates. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Managing Forests for Water in the Anthropocene—The Best Kept Secret Services of Forest Ecosystems
Forests 2016, 7(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7030060
Received: 18 December 2015 / Revised: 27 February 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 8 March 2016
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (4623 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water and forests are inextricably linked. Pressures on forests from population growth and climate change are increasing risks to forests and their aquatic ecosystem services (AES). There is a need to incorporate AES in forest management but there is considerable uncertainty about how [...] Read more.
Water and forests are inextricably linked. Pressures on forests from population growth and climate change are increasing risks to forests and their aquatic ecosystem services (AES). There is a need to incorporate AES in forest management but there is considerable uncertainty about how to do so. Approaches that manage forest ecosystem services such as fiber, water and carbon sequestration independently ignore the inherent complexities of ecosystem services and their responses to management actions, with the potential for unintended consequences that are difficult to predict. The ISO 31000 Risk Management Standard is a standardized framework to assess risks to forest AES and to prioritize management strategies to manage risks within tolerable ranges. The framework consists of five steps: establishing the management context, identifying, analyzing, evaluating and treating the risks. Challenges to implementing the framework include the need for novel models and indicators to assess forest change and resilience, quantification of linkages between forest practice and AES, and the need for an integrated systems approach to assess cumulative effects and stressors on forest ecosystems and AES. In the face of recent international agreements to protect forests, there are emerging opportunities for international leadership to address these challenges in order to protect both forests and AES. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top