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Keyword: water yield

Watering the Forests for the Trees: Water Yield and Changes in Forest Cover

Documents and Media Posted on: August 07, 2020
Forest cover loss may decrease water yield, particularly following nonstand-replacing disturbance in semi-arid western forests. This contradicts the long-held expectation that water yield increases when tree cover is reduced. Document Type: Other Documents

Forests and water yield: A synthesis of disturbance effects on streamflow and snowpack in western coniferous forests

Publications Posted on: March 24, 2020
In coniferous western forests, recent widespread tree mortality provided opportunities to test the long-held theory that forest cover loss increases water yield. We reviewed 78 studies of hydrologic response to standing-replacing (severe wildfire, harvest) or nonstand-replacing (drought, insects, low-severity wildfire) disturbances, and reassessed the question: Does water yield or snowpack increase after forest disturbance?

Disturbance effects on water yield in western coniferous forests

Science Spotlights Posted on: March 20, 2020
In coniferous western forests, recent widespread tree mortality provided opportunities to test the long-held theory that forest cover loss increases water yield. Collective results indicate that post-disturbance streamflow and snowpack may increase, stay the same, or even decrease. This post-disturbance hydrologic response depends on vegetation structure, climate, and topography.  New hypotheses continue to be formulated and tested in this rapidly evolving discipline.

Forests and water: A state-of-the-art review for Colorado

Publications Posted on: December 23, 2019
Forests occupy 22.6 million acres in Colorado, or 32 percent of the land area, and nearly three-quarters of the forest lands in Colorado are in public ownership. About 55 percent of the forested area is considered suitable for forest harvest. National forests comprise nearly half of the forested area and approximately 60 percent of the area is considered suitable for forest harvest.

Using Forest Inventory & Analysis data for broad-scale assessments of vegetation effects on water resources

Projects Posted on: April 29, 2019
Forest canopies exert a physical influence on the partitioning of precipitation into runoff versus evapotranspiration through several hydrologic processes. This project seeks to illuminate the ways that forest dynamics and disturbance affect hydrologic processes and availability of water for ecosystems and for people.  

History of watershed research in the Central Arizona Highlands

Publications Posted on: August 01, 2018
The Central Arizona Highlands have been the focus of a wide range of research efforts designed to learn more about the effects of natural and human induced disturbances on the functioning, processes, and components of the region's ecosystems.

Modeled historical streamflow metrics for the contiguous United States and National Forest Lands

Datasets Posted on: March 15, 2018
Available water supply varies greatly across the United States depending on topography, climate, elevation and geology. Forested and mountainous locations, such as national forests, tend to receive more precipitation than adjacent non-forested or low-lying areas. However, contributions of national forest lands to regional streamflow volumes is largely unknown.

National forest contributions to streamflow: Water yield maps and comparison with Brown et al. [2016]

Pages Posted on: March 08, 2016
We estimate the mean annual water yield from each HUC8 watershed to illustrate these contrasts across the landscape of the contiguous United States. We demonstrate the important role that national forests play as a source of water supply, and we compare our estimates to those from Brown et al. [2016].

High resolution images for contiguous United States water yield

Documents and Media Posted on: March 08, 2016
High resolution images associated with 'Contribution of national forests to contiguous United States water yield' (available for download). Document Type: Photos

National forest contributions to streamflow

Projects Posted on: February 03, 2016
Forested and mountainous locations, such as national forests, tend to receive more precipitation than adjacent non-forested or low-lying areas. However the precise contributions of national forest lands to regional streamflow volumes is largely unknown. New modeling work illustrates the importance of water yield from National Forest System land to water quantity and quality through visual and textual presentations of each forest’s contributions to regional streamflow.

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