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Individual Highlight

Interactive Effects of Climate Change and Invasive Species on Water Yield in Tropical Montane Forests

Photo of Image of invasive strawberry guava trees and invasive ginger plants. Christian Giardina, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Image of invasive strawberry guava trees and invasive ginger plants. Christian Giardina, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : Forest Service scientists quantify the impact of anticipated climate change and invasive species on water yield from streams using the Distributed Hydrology Soils Vegetation Model.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Giardina, Christian P. 
Research Location : North Hilo and Hamakua Districts of Hawaii Island (Hawaii County)
Research Station : Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1080

Summary

Invasive species and climate change are projected to alter the water balance of native-dominated tropical forest watersheds. In particular, climate drying and warming, as well as fast-growing invasive woody plant species, are likely to reduce water yields by increasing evapotranspiration. Quantitative analyses of these effects, however, are not available. Forest Service researchers used the Distributed Hydrology Soils Vegetation Model (DHSVM) to quantify the independent and interactive effects of climate change and invasive species on water yield from 91 catchments representing a 4,000 millimeter (157 inches) gradient in mean annual rainfall (from 2,500 to 6,500 mm or 98 to 256 inches) and found that anticipated climate change (drying and warming) resulted in major reductions in modeled stream flows, while projected invasive species spread resulted in smaller but significant modeled reductions in stream flow.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Hawaii Commission on Water Resources Management
  • Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Watershed Professionals Network