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Stream flow unaffected by Eucalyptus plantation harvesting implicates water use by the native forest streamside reserve


Smethurst, PJ and Almeida, AC and Loos, RA, Stream flow unaffected by Eucalyptus plantation harvesting implicates water use by the native forest streamside reserve, Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 3 pp. 187-198. ISSN 2214-5818 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Crown Copyright 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0 AU)

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ejrh.2014.11.002


Study region: Tropical Atlantic Forest region, Brazil.

Study focus: The temporal and spatial dynamics of soil water, water table depth and stream flow in relation to precipitation and the harvesting and regrowth cycle of a Eucalyptus grandis hybrid plantation in a headwater catchment. This landscape contains a mosaic of eucalypt plantation grown for pulpwood on plateau tops and native forest reserves in gullies. Instead of harvesting the native forest to test this effect, we conducted a virtual experiment using a soil and hydrological model (HYDRUS).

New hydrological insights: Plantation harvest had little effect on steam flow, despite a 6-11 m rise in water table level under the plantation area. This result suggests that the native forest reserve intercepted groundwater moving laterally between the plantation and the stream. Measured and simulated runoff coefficients were similarly low (5% and 3%, respectively), but simulated removal of the native forest led to an increase to 38%. Therefore, plantation management in this type of landscape is likely to have little impact on stream flows where there is an intact native rainforest reserve beside the stream.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Eucalyptus plantation, hydrology, harvesting, native forest, stream flow, modelling
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Hydrology
Research Field:Surface water hydrology
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Hardwood plantations
UTAS Author:Smethurst, PJ (Dr Philip Smethurst)
UTAS Author:Almeida, AC (Dr Auro Almeida)
ID Code:117261
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2017-06-06
Last Modified:2017-09-20
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