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Individual Highlight

The Effects of Changing Land Cover on Streamflow Simulation in Puerto Rico

Photo of Mameyes river flood event. USDA Forest ServiceMameyes river flood event. USDA Forest ServiceSnapshot : Streamflow models were developed for Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra simulating historic conditions from 1953 to 2012. When land cover was included in the model as changing with time, streams such as the Río Piedras with a high amount of human-ecosystem interaction were much better simulated. These models help Forest Service scientists understand how land-cover change affects streamflo, and how humans might be affecting ecosystems.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Gould, William A. 
Research Location : Puerto Rico
Research Station : International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF)
Year : 2015
Highlight ID : 780

Summary

Land cover change has been extreme in Puerto Rico since the 1950s and this has greatly affected streamflow on the island. Forest Service scientists developed models for mainland Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra that simulated historic streamflows from 1953 to 2012 using static land-cover parameterizations based on different snapshots in time. The models then were run for the Río Piedras watershed using dynamic land cover parameterization that changed yearly from 1953 to 2012.. The results showed that by including land cover change in modeling efforts, Forest Service scientists can do a better job of accurately simulating streamflow for watersheds with a high amount of human-ecosystem interactions. These models help scientists understand how land-cover change affects streamflow and how humans might be affecting ecosystems.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Ashley Van Beusekom, Forest Service
  • Collazo, J.A.
  • Hay, L.E.
  • Henareh Khalyani, A.
  • Viger, R.J.