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?
Large wildfires can have profound and lasting impacts not only from direct consumption of vegetation but also longerterm effects such as persistent soil erosion. The 2002 Hayman Fire burned in one of the watersheds supplying water to the Denver metropolitan area; thus there was concern regarding hillslope erosion and sedimentation in the reservoirs.
Springs serve an ecologically important role as perennial water sources, essential habitat for native species, and support for stream flow. Spring developments on rangelands provide water to livestock and wildlife. Thoughtful design of sustainable developments will supply water to livestock and wildlife while maintaining the intrinsic ecological functions and values of springs.
This assessment was conducted to provide information on the current conditions of riparian and groundwater-dependent ecosystems in relation to their natural range of variation on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. We summarized dominant riparian community types that are present on the Forest and described riparian fish and wildlife habitat.
Population growth and climate change will combine to pose substantial challenges for water management in the United States. Projections of water supply and demand over the 21st century show that in the absence of further adaptation efforts, serious water shortages are likely in some regions. Continued improvements in water use efficiency are likely but will be insufficient to avoid future shortages.
Biological soil crusts (BSCs) exist commonly on soil surfaces in many arid and semiarid areas, and disturbed soil surfaces in more mesic environments. BSCs perform many essential ecological functions. Substantial resources have been invested trying to restore or replace BSCs that have been damaged by anthropogenic disturbances, with various levels of success.
Wildfires and events that follow such as flooding and erosion are natural disturbances in many ecosystems. However, when these types of postfire events threaten life, property, and resources they become a concern for resource managers, communities, and private landowners.
Sublimation is an important hydrological flux in cold, snow‐dominated ecosystems. In high‐elevation spruce‐fir forests of western North America, spruce beetle outbreaks have killed trees, reduced the canopy, and altered processes that control sublimation.
Wildfires are known to change post-fire watershed conditions such that hillslopes can become prone to increased erosion and sediment delivery. In this work, we coupled wildfire spread and erosion prediction modelling to assess the benefits of fuel reduction treatments in preventing soil runoff. The study was conducted in a 68 000-ha forest area located in Sardinia, Italy. We compared no-treatment conditions v.
The magnitude of sediment yield following forest timber harvest is controlled by increases in both sediment supply and streamflow. Since the relation between sediment transport and streamflow typically follows a power law, small increases in streamflow may translate into large increases in sediment transport.