Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Ge Sun; Changqing Zuo; Shiyu Liu; Mingliang Liu; Steven G. McNulty; James M. Vose
    Date: 2009
    Source: Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2008.00241.x
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (913.54 KB)


    Natural forests in southern China have been severely logged due to high human demand for timber, food, and fuels during the past century, but are recovering in the past decade. The objective of this study was to investigate how vegetation cover changes in composition and structure affected the water budgets of a 9.6-km2 Dakeng watershed located in a humid subtropical mountainous region in southern China. We analyzed 27 years (i.e., 1967-1993) of streamflow and climate data and associated vegetation cover change in the watershed. Land use/land cover census and Normalized Difference of Vegetation Index (NDVI) data derived from remote sensing were used to construct historic land cover change patterns. We found that over the period of record, annual streamflow (Q) and runoff/precipitation ratio did not change significantly, nor did the climatic variables, including air temperature, Hamon's potential evapotranspiration (ET), pan evaporation, sunshine hours, and radiation. However, annual ET estimated as the differences between P and Q showed a statistically significant increasing trend. Overall, the NDVI of the watershed had a significant increasing trend in the peak spring growing season. This study concluded that watershed ecosystem ET increased as the vegetation cover shifted from low stock forests to shrub and grasslands that had higher ET rates. A conceptual model was developed for the study watershed to describe the vegetation cover-streamflow relationships during a 50-year time frame. This paper highlighted the importance of eco-physiologically based studies in understanding transitory, nonstationary effects of deforestation or forestation on watershed water balances.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Sun, Ge; Zuo, Changqing; Liu, Shiyu; Liu, Mingliang; McNulty, Steven G.; Vose, James M. 2008. Watershed evapotranspiration increased due to changes in vegetation composition and structure under a subtropical climate. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 44(5): 1164-1175. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2008.00241.x


    evapotranspiration, forest hydrology, Normalized difference of vegetation index, Southern China, streamflow

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page