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HS2.1.3

EDI
Advances in forest hydrology

Forests are recognized as prime regulators of the hydrological cycle. Changes in their structure cause effects on the ecosystem services they provide via their water and biochemical cycles. The traditional idea that forest hydrology emphasizes the role of forests and forest management practices on runoff generation and water quality has been broadened in light of rapid global change. Some of the largest pristine forested areas are in the tropics and have suffered drastic land-use changes during recent decades. These tropical systems are still markedly underrepresented in hydrological studies, especially concerning long-term experimental setups and monitoring networks.

Anthropogenic intervention is exerting ever-increasing pressure on natural ecosystems, affecting water quantity and quality, and threatening socio-economic and human development as described by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Yet, we lack a proper understanding of how catchments respond to changing environmental conditions and disturbances. Answering these open questions requires interdisciplinary approaches in combination with novel monitoring methods and modelling efforts. This session brings together studies that will enhance our understanding and stimulate discussions on the impact of global change on hydrological processes in forest systems at different scales.

We invite field experimentalists and modellers to submit contributions investigating hydrological processes in forests from boreal to tropical regions, including water quality, the carbon cycle, or ecohydrological aspects.

This session welcomes studies that:
1) Improve our understanding of hydrological processes in forested catchments and the resilience of forested catchments to environmental changes and disturbances;
2) Assess the hydrological-related impacts of land use/cover change on forested systems;
3) Present new methods (e.g. remote sensing techniques) or tools that unveil new perspectives or data sources in forest hydrology;
4) Include interdisciplinary research that holistically integrates data and models from soil–plant–atmosphere experimental or modelling schemes into hydrological studies.

Convener: Rodolfo NóbregaECSECS | Co-conveners: Daniele Penna, Luisa Hopp, Alicia CorreaECSECS
Presentations
| Wed, 25 May, 10:20–11:50 (CEST)
 
Room M1

Wed, 25 May, 10:20–11:50

Chairpersons: Rodolfo Nóbrega, Alicia Correa, Luisa Hopp

10:20–10:25
Introduction

10:25–10:35
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EGU22-9002
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ECS
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solicited
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Highlight
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Virtual presentation
Magali F. Nehemy et al.

Describing the water sources for tree transpiration and how sources vary in time and space is fundamental to understand how vegetation impacts the hydrological cycle. While many tree water source partitioning studies have focused on the growing season, little is known about transpiration sources before, during, and after snowmelt when trees rehydrate and recommence to transpire in spring. Here we investigate spring snowmelt and the onset of tree rehydration and transpiration in two sites within the boreal forest of Saskatchewan, Canada. Specifically, we investigate the source of transpiration during the first days and weeks after transpiration onset relative to snowmelt timing. We document the source of transpiration of three boreal forest tree species— jack pine (Pinus banksiana), black spruce (Picea mariana), and larch (Larix laricina)by combining observations of weekly stable isotope values of xylem, soil water, rainfall, and snowmelt with physical measurements of soil moisture dynamics, snow depth and high-temporal resolution measurements of tree stem radius and sap flow. We show that the onset of rehydration and transpiration overlaps snowmelt and that trees use snowmelt water during stem rehydration and the onset of transpiration. Soil water showed a rapid shift to isotopically depleted-snowmelt water values during the end of the snowmelt period. But our data showed a delay in the shift in xylem isotope signatures from pre-melt to the clear snowmelt-depleted water signatures that dominate thereafter. This appears to be controlled by tree water transit time that was in the order of 9 to 18 days. Our study shows that snowmelt is an important source for stem rehydration and the onset of transpiration in the boreal forest during spring onset. Our data also highlights the importance of monitoring phenological and physiological responses during tree water source investigations. In a warmer world, the timing of snowmelt and vegetation phenology are likely to continue to change, as well as the decline in water availability via snowmelt in northern ecosystems. Therefore, understanding tree water use dynamics during spring onset is important to identify the impact of climate change on the evolution of forest composition and groundwater recharge.  

How to cite: Nehemy, M. F., Maillet, J., Perron, N., Pappas, C., Sonnentag, O., Baltzer, J. L., Laroque, C. P., and McDonnell, J. J.: A thirst for snowmelt? Tree water use in spring, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9002, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-9002, 2022.

10:35–10:41
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EGU22-10842
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Virtual presentation
Catalina Segura

Knowledge of water transit times through watersheds is fundamental to understand hydrological and biogeochemical processes. However, its prediction is still elusive, particularly in mountainous terrain where physiography and precipitation change over short distances. In addition, much remains to be studied about the impact of climate change on transit time as it continues to change precipitation form in mountainous terrain. Water isotopic ratios were used to evaluate mean transit time (MTT) and young water fractions ( ) in seven small mountainous watersheds in western Oregon over the 2014–2018 period that included a major regional snow drought in 2015. The MTT was shorter in 2015 across all watersheds compared to any other year while the  was larger in 2015 than in any other year. The short transit times observed in 2015 could be related to low connectivity between surface water and older ground water which resulted in a homogenous hydrologic response across all the investigated watersheds despite their physiographical differences. The 2016–2018 MTT vary widely across all watersheds but especially within the smaller high elevation watersheds indicating that the impact of the 2015 snow drought was stronger for systems that depend heavily on snowmelt inputs. During relatively wet/cold years intrinsic watershed characteristics such as drainage area and terrain roughness explained some of the variability in transit time metrics across all watersheds. Shorter transit times during the drought have implications for water quality and solute concentrations as biogeochemical processes are controlled in part by the time water resides and interacts within the subsurface. Although the impact of the 2015 snow drought appears short lived these results are particularly critical considering the expected regional snowpack decline as the climate warms in the western USA.

How to cite: Segura, C.: Snow drought reduces water transit times in headwater streams, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10842, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-10842, 2022.

10:41–10:47
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EGU22-2794
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On-site presentation
Stefan C. Dekker et al.

Forests are important to regulate water-climate relationships, providing important ecosystem services locally and elsewhere. Therefore, understanding forest hydrology is crucial to understand the flows of these ecosystem services, and attribute the origins to either transpiration and interception as these can have very different underlying mechanisms. Atmospheric moisture recycling effectively increases the amount of usable water over land as the water can undergo multiple precipitation–evapotranspiration cycles. Forest contribution to atmospheric moisture recycling can come from water pressure deficit driven water transpiration through the stomata, or via evaporation of surface water intercepted in the canopy during precipitation. Disentangling these two pathways is fundamental as the former is dependent on the ability of the deep roots of trees to access groundwater facilitating a constant transpiration flux throughout the dry season, while the latter is fundamentally dependent on precipitation and canopy architecture and leaf morphology. We have demonstrated that forests can buffer precipitation variability elsewhere, for tropical and other types of forests. However, it is not known whether this buffering effect occurs directly through forest transpiration or whether indirect forest interception evaporation has a buffering effect as well. Here we apply a state-of-the-art Lagrangian moisture tracking model (UTrack) to study globally whether forests in the upwind precipitationshed can lead to a reduction in monthly precipitation variability downwind. Indeed, we found that forests are fundamental to reduce precipitation variability downwind in 10 out of 14 global terrestrial biomes, specifically for all forest biomes except Mediterranean forests. On average, if 50% of precipitation originates from forest, there is a strong buffering effect with an average reduction of 60% in the coefficient of variation of monthly precipitation. We also observed that a high fraction of precipitation from non-forest land sources has the opposite effect, that is, no buffering effect. The average variation of monthly precipitation was 69% higher in areas where 50% of precipitation originates from non-forest land sources in the precipitationshed. We also observed that the role of forest interception evaporation is less important than the role of forest transpiration for buffering precipitation variability. The largest buffering effect was found for the tropical forest biomes, mainly Amazon and Congo, while moisture recycling over Southeast Asia was mostly contributed by the surrounding ocean. For temperate biomes, the buffering capacity of forests is lower, related to shallower rooting depths and that large proportions of temperate forests are in areas dominated by precipitation from non-forested land or ocean, such as western Europe. Nevertheless, there is still a significant role in buffering precipitation and potentially this buffering capacity can be increased with large scale reforestation projects to mitigate climate change. Our findings clearly support an important role of forests in buffering precipitation downwind. Forests hereby regulate the climate system, which can become unbalanced if this regulating ecosystem service is removed. Furthermore, the importance of this mechanism is also relevant to maintain other processes, such as food production and highlights the tight connections between forests and other processes and ecosystem services

How to cite: Dekker, S. C., O'connor, J. C., Staal, A., Tuinenburg, O. A., Rebel, K. T., and Santos, M. J.: How forests transpiration and interception evaporation can buffer variations in precipitation downwind, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2794, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-2794, 2022.

10:47–10:53
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EGU22-8574
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Maria Grundmann et al.

Forest canopies redistribute precipitation by processes of interception and stemflow which also change the chemical signature of incoming precipitation. Understanding what controls these transformations and how they evolve across seasons is key to assess forest water cycling and nutrient transport. At the Waldlabor Zurich ecohydrological observatory (Switzerland) we measure the amount and chemical signature of precipitation since April 2020. Our measurement setup focusses on spruce (Picea abies) and beech (Fagus silvatica) trees, as they are the two most common species across Switzerland. In addition to the ion and isotope concentrations in precipitation, throughfall, stemflow as well as in the soil at different depths (10, 20, 40 and 80 cm), we also assess the canopy density in weekly resolution, groundwater depth and streamflow amount at the outlet of our forested catchment, as well as their chemical and isotopic composition

We assessed the seasonal variability of throughfall and stemflow and their relation to canopy density measurements for beech, spruce and young spruce trees. Canopy density had little to no effect on interception and stemflow fractions. We found almost half of the total annual precipitation is intercepted in the canopies of spruce and beech trees, this is because most precipitation events were quite small, resulting in almost no throughfall at all. However, in general, the fraction of interception decreased with increasing event size, on the other hand events below 4 mm did not produce significant amounts of throughfall and stemflow. Water chemistry is showing that major enrichment processes took place in the canopy, subsequently the ion signature was different in throughfall and stemflow compared to open field precipitation. Ion concentrations of sodium, chloride, nitrate, ammonium and potassium were 2 - 10 times higher in throughfall and up to 14 times higher in stemflow compared to concentrations measured in open field precipitation. We hypothesize this is the result of accumulation of wind deposits, especially of anthropogenic contaminants on the tree stem, branches and leaves, as we found concentrations where generally higher during events succeeding long periods without precipitation. In accordance with the much rougher surface of spruce needles and stems compared to beech leaves and stems, we found much higher concentrations in throughfall and stemflow below spruce trees and elevated ion concentrations in the soil waters up to 40 cm depth. Overall, our results highlight the importance of forests, not only in redistributing precipitation, but also in changing the chemical signal of precipitation and thus the forest water and nutrient cycle.

How to cite: Grundmann, M., Floriancic, M. G., and Molnar, P.: Enrichment Processes in Throughfall and Stemflow in a Mixed Temperate Forest, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8574, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-8574, 2022.

10:53–10:59
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EGU22-6657
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ECS
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Virtual presentation
Hyunje Yang et al.

Continuously increasing demand for freshwater makes many scientists study water yield prediction. In South Korea, of which two-third is covered by forests, understanding the water cycle especially in forests is even more important. Throughfall is penetrated rainfall through the tree canopy and it is the basic source for groundwater recharge which is directly related to the water yield on the catchment scale. Therefore, understanding the throughfall characteristics is essential for sustainable water management. This study is conducted to develop simple throughfall simulation models and estimate prediction uncertainty from developed models by different forest stand characteristics. National Institute of Forest Service (NIFoS) has collected throughfall data for 2 years from 7 different forest stand sites. Rutter model was used for the structure of the simple throughfall simulation model and it had several parameters for simulating. And over a million Monte Carlo experiments and generalized likelihood uncertainty estimation (GLUE) methodology were used for selecting parameters sets of behavioural models from comparing simulated throughfall and observed throughfall. From the range of behaviours in a period, we successfully estimated the prediction uncertainty. We also compared the features of behavioural parameter sets by different forest stand characteristics. We expect developed models can be applied for several forest stands in South Korea with various physical-based hydrological models.

How to cite: Yang, H., Lim, H., Choi, H. T., and Lee, J.: Development of Throughfall Simulation Models and Prediction Uncertainty Estimation by Different Forest Stand Characteristics, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6657, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-6657, 2022.

10:59–11:05
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EGU22-12591
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Virtual presentation
Glenda Garcia-Santos et al.

Subalpine forests in the Alps are fragile ecosystems with high importance for human water resources and the local and mesoscale climate. While previous studies have measured different components of the water balance, little is known about the partition of all the water components during the same period and the role of forest age. We were able to measure the water balance components and will show how water distributed in the forest. Some highlights of our study are the evidences that canopies of old forests were able to intercept water in larger extend than the young forest canopies, representing the largest water reservoir, the frequency of fog during the study period, shown for the first-time in this ecosystem, the larger ratio of throughfall related to precipitation during days with mixed precipitation (fog and rainfall) and the role of epiphytes in the water balance.

How to cite: Garcia-Santos, G., Obojes, N., and Montagnani, L.: New insights in the understanding of the water balance in a subalpine forest in the Alps, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12591, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-12591, 2022.

11:05–11:11
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EGU22-3352
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On-site presentation
Klaudija Lebar and Simon Rusjan

Afforestation is recognized as one of the commonly used nature-based solutions for flood risk mitigation as well as for reduction of anthropogenic impacts on sediment and nutrient flushing. Processes of nutrient cycles (e.g., nitrogen cycle) are directly dependent on the amount of precipitation and its temporal and spatial distribution as water is the main transport medium and the driving force for many ecosystem processes. To understand the natural background of biogeochemical processes and transport of their products, it is therefore necessary to improve understanding of the hydrological control mechanisms, especially the formation of rainfall-runoff. Forest ecosystems without any or with negligible anthropogenic influences represent such kind of a reference, i.e. natural state in the field of nutrient flushing research. For this reason, we established an experimental monitoring system in the small, almost completely afforested Kuzlovec river catchment, Slovenia. Most of the hydrometeorological variables were measured continuously at a 20-min time step accompanied with measurements of concentrations of nitrate-nitrogen in the stream and leaf area index, which was used as an indicator of seasonal growth periods. Based on a two-year data set of various variables, we identified rainfall events for which we investigated: i) the influences of rainfall characteristics on the nitrate-nitrogen flushing, ii) the rainfall-runoff formation processes taking into account nitrate-nitrogen concentration changes during rainfall events, and iii) the role of the forest on the dynamics of the nitrate-nitrogen flushing (i.e., are there differences between the seasons). The focus of this contribution will be on the latter. We will present the most important findings obtained by using statistical analyses, such as hierarchical clustering, k-means, and principal component analysis. We believe that information obtained from such research is extremely important for improving the understanding of the processes’ controlling factors in areas with anthropogenic activities that affect the circulation and amount of nutrients exported to water bodies. 

How to cite: Lebar, K. and Rusjan, S.: The role of forest vegetation seasonality on the dynamics of nitrate-nitrogen export during rainfall events, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3352, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-3352, 2022.

11:11–11:17
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EGU22-8604
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On-site presentation
Andis Kalvans

Forests in hydric (wet) growing conditions are characterised by waterlogged soil conditions for a significant portion of the year with peat layer less than 30 cm. In these locations growth of most tree species is hampered due to lack of oxygen in waterlogged soil, but peat accumulation does not take place as the organic detritus is decomposed during the dry periods. These are marginal ecosystems in between wetlands and drylands and as such are sensitive to climate change. But due to their limited practical value have often been neglected by researchers.

We study the soil water regime of hydric forests constructing Hydrus-1D soil water model. The model was validated with field observations of soil water content, potential and groundwater level at three field sites in Latvia, northern Europe. The meteorological parameters for the model forcing were obtained from the E-obs data set (version v24.0e), including wind speed, relative humidity, incoming shortwave radiation, air temperature and precipitation. Model run period was from 1980 to middle of June 2021.

The model was used to explore the sensitivity of the forest water balance to the crucial parameters such as soil grain size distribution, seasonality and value of the leaf area index (LAI) and canopy surface albedo, and root system ability to compensate lack of water or waterlogged conditions in some part of the soil profile. Preliminary results indicated that there is feedback between soil aeration and transpiration. This can result in a memory effect where increased transpiration leads to soil pore water depletion, better soil aeration and further increase in transpiration and vice versa.

This work was supported by ERDF postdoctoral research project “Groundwater and soil water regime”, under climate change (No. 1.1.1.2/VIAA/3/19/524).

How to cite: Kalvans, A.: Memory effect of soil water regime in wet forests, Norther Europe, Latvia, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8604, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-8604, 2022.

11:17–11:23
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EGU22-1842
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ECS
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Virtual presentation
Francisco Balocchi et al.

Land cover change and its effect on water resources has been a continuous concern in south-central Chile. In this regard, we use two methodologies to study the effect of different land covers on the hydrological processes in several experimental catchments (<100km2) located between 36°S to 39°S. These experimental catchments include native forest and commercial plantations (Monterrey Pine and Eucalyptus) land covers. The first methodology is the use of hydrological modelling to analyze the land cover influence on the water yield of a catchment. [1] compared hydrological and evapotranspiration models and selected the best which represented daily stream flow. The best results were obtained through the more complex model (i.e GR6J and Oudin PET model) which can account for groundwater interaction. The second methodology is the use of the recession coefficient (a) as a metric for baseflow recession analysis, which is a good index of the risk of flow decreasing below a threshold. This coefficient represents the rate of decrease in streamflow after a rainfall event. [2] investigated through mathematical modelling how (a) differs between land cover within the same study sites as [1] study mentioned above. This coefficient did not differ in winter, indicating a similar soil saturation, but some differences were found in summer.  It was determined that (a) was similar between land cover types. Considering both methodological approaches we can conclude that at the experimental catchment scale geology and the fractured rock system play a crucial role in surface-groundwater interactions in these ecosystems. Therefore, future investigations should be focused on subsoil processes and surface-groundwater interaction. Due to its Mediterranean climate, rainfall in Chile is concentrated during winter months, when trees are dormant, meaning that they do not significantly transpire, and a larger proportion of rainfall can infiltrate into the soil. Therefore, metrics such as (a) can help develop landscape planning strategies to increase water availability in conjunction with hydrological modelling. 

References:

[1] Flores, N., Rodríguez, R., Yépez, S., Osores, V., Rau, P., Rivera, D., & Balocchi, F. (2021). Comparison of Three Daily Rainfall-Runoff Hydrological Models Using Four Evapotranspiration Models in Four Small Forested Watersheds with Different Land Cover in South-Central Chile. Water, 13(22), 3191.

[2] Balocchi, F., Flores, N., Arumí, J. L., Iroumé, A., White, D. A., Silberstein, R. P., & Ramírez de Arellano, P. (2021a). Comparison of streamflow recession between plantations and native forests in small catchments in Central‐Southern Chile. Hydrological Processes, 35(6), e14182.

How to cite: Balocchi, F., Arumi, J. L., Rivera, D., and Iroumé, A.: Understanding land cover influence on water resources in south-central Chile: A hydrological modelling with baseflow recession analysis approach , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1842, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1842, 2022.

11:23–11:29
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EGU22-6703
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Pilar Barria et al.

Ecosystem goods and services (BSE) of native forest are fundamental for water supply in Central Chile. The ongoing Megadrought (MD)- a decade lenght below normal precipitation years (~30-40%)- that affects the region, has exacerbated the water scarcity, generating a favorable scenario for the systematization and structuring of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes in Mediterranean-climate basins of Chile. Hydrological modeling tools can be useful to support collaborative decision processes needed to implement these PES, as well as water management adaptation plans. In this context, the Chilean Water Directorate is leading the implementation of Basin Scale Strategic Water Management Plans (BSWMP) using the Water Evaluation and Planning Model (WEAP). However, the lack of biophysical data in poorly monitored basins, challenge the model implementation to quantify these ecosystem services. In this research, we used satellite data, which combined with short term field data allow us to represent the climate-forest-hydrological feedbacks and to quantify the water related ecosystem services at the sub-basin scale in the Aculeo Lake catchment, an iconic agricultural basin located in the Metropolitan region of Chile. The results indicate that there is significant impact of the MD in the native forest of the Aculeo basin, revealed by decreases in the normalized difference vegetation index and the leaf area index (~50% since year 2019), which translate into reduced evapotranspiration values. Also, according to the hydrological model, the native forest ecosystem services exacerbated during the MD, leading to increased surface runoff, infiltration rates and lake water volume storage, revealing its key role on the hydrological system. Finally, a modelling framework has been designed to support the WEAP model implementation to simulate and quantify the native forest ecosystem services at the basin scale, for poorly gauged basins, in the context of the current BSWMP.

How to cite: Barria, P., Ocampo-Melgar, A., Venegas, A., and Cerda, C.: Modelling Hydrological Ecosystem Services of native forest for Integrated Water Resources Management on a poorly monitored basin of Central Chile, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6703, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-6703, 2022.

11:29–11:35
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EGU22-5265
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ECS
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Virtual presentation
Sara Simona Cipolla and Nicola Montaldo

A consequence of climate change, less investigated from the hydrological point of view, is the alteration of the frequency and intensity of forest disturbances that can reduce forest productivity, change the distribution of tree species, and shift their range and density. Based on this, this study evaluates the ability of remnants of native forests to resist or adapt to a changing climate. The case study is the island of Sardinia, located within the Mediterranean basin. Sardinia covers a latitudinal gradient of 300 km; and it is one of the least populated and the most forested regions in Italy. It is considered one of the most important biodiversity reservoirs inside the Mediterranean hotspot. From one hand Sardinia is experiencing a decreasing pressure on forests due to human factors, from the other, some studies demonstrate that winter precipitation and runoff are decreasing alarmingly, and this can have an impact on forests. Based on the above, this study aims, through the analysis of 20 years of satellite images (MOD44B), to evaluate forest cover changes and to detect any possible relationship with some of the most important climate variables such as precipitation, air temperature and vapor pressure deficit. Results indicate that in the last 40 years Sardinia has experienced a simultaneous increase in air temperatures (0.026 °C*y-1) and VPD (0.001 kPa*y-1) combined with reductions in both total precipitation (14.03 mm*y-1) and winter precipitation (12.09 mm*y-1), and that the areas with a mean annual precipitation lower than 700 mm went from the 26% in the period 1922-1979, to 63% during 1980-2018, and in effect 1980 was detect as changing point for annual precipitation. These climatic variations have led to an important reduction of the tree cover in some historical forests of Sardinia, and in the broad-leaved ones particularly. The reduction in TC shows a positive correlation with mean annual precipitation (ρ= 0.66) and altitude (0.72), while negative correlations were detected with temperature (ρ= -0.57) and VPD (ρ= -0.48). Results highlight that forests are adapting to climate change, and this may have an impact on local water resources.

How to cite: Cipolla, S. S. and Montaldo, N.: Spatiotemporal evolution of forest cover and of historical climate data: a case study in the Mediterranean basin , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5265, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-5265, 2022.

11:35–11:41
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EGU22-5360
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ECS
Seasonal hydrological response in nested forested catchments at different spatial scales: insights from Re della Pietra (Tuscan Apennines, Italy)
(withdrawn)
Marcos Macchioli Grande et al.
11:41–11:47
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EGU22-6224
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ECS
Andrea Rabbai et al.

According to the Forest European Process, the recent Climate Change Conference (COP26), and EU policies, conservation of forest ecosystems is a critical step in mitigating climate change and combating deforestation; accordingly plantation forests will be critical in achieving these goals. While limitations in monoculture plantation are well established in silvicultural practices and documented in research studies, in the face of intensifying climate change and resources scarcity, the need for knowledge on mixed-species plantations has grown. There has been also a recent develop in innovative and sustainable forest management practices, including irrigation and fertilization (fertigation) that aim to improve the productivity of forestry plantations, and therefore their carbon sequestration capacity, as well as the ecosystem services associated with healthy forests. However, the exact effects of fertigation on forests plantation have yet to be established. This study examines the growth patterns, productivity, and carbon storage capacity of four–year-old mixed-species and monoculture plantations in response to an intensive fertigation management. Particularly, our findings highlight differences in tree growth patterns and their performance in paired experimental plots based on different soil types. Such differences are associated varying soil moisture conditions due the interaction of fertigation and the soil water holding capacity. In general, trees growth is higher in sandy soil, due to the positive relation between high soil water diffusivity and fertigation. On the other hand, no such tree growth has been observed in clay soil, most likely due to the high susceptibility to waterlogging, which requires careful fertigation management to avoid limiting conditions for the healthy development of young forest plantation. Our research provides important insights into how young plantation trees respond to different soil moisture conditions, which can aid to in the design and fertigation management of mixed-species plantations resulting in more productive, biodiverse, economically viable, and healthier forests than monocultures.

 

 

How to cite: Rabbai, A., Krause, S., Kettridge, N., Ullah, S., Curioni, G., Rob Mackenzie, R., and Hart, K.: Fertigation management of mixed-species plantation versus monoculture in plantation forestry: key aspects and future perspective., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6224, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-6224, 2022.

11:47–11:50
Final remarks