The study, by David Ellison, Martyn Futter and Kevin Bishop at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), shows that reducing forest area reduces regional and continental rainfall. This needs to be recognized to obtain a fair picture of the forest role in the hydrologic cycle.
“Are forests good for water? An apparently simple question divides scientists in two camps – those who see trees as demanding water and those who see trees as supplying water,” said David Ellison who works in the Future Forests research program studying resource management. “This paper demonstrates that the difference between these two camps has to do with the spatial scale being considered.”
From a local perspective, a tree is a consumer of water. But on a broader regional scale, forests supply the atmosphere with moisture that will become rainfall. Some dry areas depend almost entirely on rain that comes from forest-covered areas via the atmosphere.
The view of forests as a consumer of water influences the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) which includes strategies for water pricing, but fails to consider the contribution of forests to the water cycle. The same goes for the increasingly popular “Water Footprint”, a tool developed to communicate the water usage of a product or process.
Deforestation and land conversion from forest to agriculture or urbanization will have a negative effect on regional precipitation. On a small scale and in the short run it may not be noticeable. But if the loss of forests continues, there is a risk that both rainfall and water supply will decrease in many places.
Afforestation and reforestation on the other hand could be used as an invaluable climate change adaptation tool to bring increasing moisture to regions where rainfall is on the decline.
David Ellison argues for the need to change the basic view about the importance of forests in the hydrologic cycle in a new article in the influential journal Global Change Biology.
“Forests, whose contribution to the water cycle is crucial for human survival and future well being, should be regarded as a global public good, to be preserved and used for the benefit of all.”This paper is published in Global Change Biology. To receive a copy, please contact Annika Mossing at Future Forests, SLU, +46 90 7868221, +46 727 103944
Link to Article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02589.x/fullContact the Authors: David Ellison, email@example.com, cell phone 0036-30-929-5246
The Future Forests research programme produces research on which to base strategies for the sustainable use of boreal forests. Future Forests is a Mistra programme, hosted by Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). It is a joint initiative between SLU, Umeå University and the Forestry Reserach Institute of Sweden
Mikael Propst | Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, S
Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus
03.07.2020 | Klinikum der Universität München
Age research: A low level of the stress hormone cortisol contributes to the ageing process
01.07.2020 | Universität des Saarlandes
New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices
Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...
Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class
In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...
Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.
Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....
Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.
Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...
A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...
07.07.2020 | Event News
02.07.2020 | Event News
19.05.2020 | Event News
10.07.2020 | Life Sciences
10.07.2020 | Physics and Astronomy
10.07.2020 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation