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Experimental forest watershed studies contribution to the effect of disturbances on water quality


Neary, Daniel G. 2012. Experimental forest watershed studies contribution to the effect of disturbances on water quality. Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest. 42: 61-76.

The most sustainable and best quality fresh water sources in the world originate in forested watersheds (Dissmeyer 2000, Brooks et al. 2003, Barten and Ernst 2004). The biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of forest soils are particularly well suited to delivering high quality water to streams, and moderating the climatic extremes which affect stream hydrology and water quality (Neary et al. 2009). Forest soils are usually characterized by high porosities, low bulk density, and high saturated hydraulic conductivities and infiltration rates (Neary 2011). Consequently, surface runoff is rare in forest environments, and most rainfall moves to streams by subsurface flow pathways where nutrient uptake, cycling, and contaminant sorption processes are rapid. Because of the dominance of subsurface flow processes, peak flows are moderated and baseflows with high water quality are prolonged (Vertessey 1999, Ice and Stednick 2004).

Keywords: experimental forest, watershed


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Experimental forest watershed studies contribution to the effect of disturbances on water quality
Electronic Publish Date: October 17, 2013
Last Update:
October 17, 2013

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