USask Study Explains Impact of Forest Management on Water Resources

Jul 11 14:07 2019 Print This Article

New research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) explained the impact of forest management on water resources. The study found that the amount of water that landscapes are able to retain is the crucial factor in predicting annual streamflow increases when trees are cut down.

“There is huge variability around the world in the impact of harvesting trees on water flow, which has perplexed water scientists for decades,” said Jeff McDonnell, co-author the study and associate director of the Global Institute for Water Security. “These findings could help inform sustainable forest practices, helping planners to more accurately predict the impact of logging and tree planting on natural water resources.”

The study, Global Analysis of Streamflow Response to Forest Management, examined why felling trees has not increased the water yield in some areas as expected. In other regions, deforestation or thinning trees led to a greater annual increase in water in streams than predicted.

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